Kemps Ice Cream and Maccabee — A Delicious PR Partnership

Kemps Ice Cream, the No. 1 selling frozen dessert brand from Minnesota, relied on Maccabee for virtually every new product launch and media relations initiative for 12 years.

“There is absolutely nobody in the PR business as gifted as Maccabee when it comes to designing attention-grabbing publicity strategies,” said Rachel Kyllo, Vice President Marketing for Kemps. “The agency is very creative and innovative, with a fresh approach.”

Consider how Maccabee introduced a new Kemps flavor, “Zero Visibility” ice cream. Maccabee carved then Governor Jesse Ventura’s face out of 5,000 pounds of the ice cream. The event generated media coverage on all four local TV stations, in both daily newspapers and in Time magazine and on CNN-TV worldwide. Women in Communications called it the “Best Special Event/Promotion of the Year.” Most importantly, the campaign sold out Kemps’ entire stock of the product. And the regional launch of Kemps’ new “Wind-Chill Factor” flavor? Our campaign generated 3.6 million consumer impressions with coverage on all four Twin Cities TV stations, both daily newspapers, Minnesota News Network and WCCO Radio. Ninety days of product sold out in just three weeks.

Integrating PR strategies with Kemps’ advertising and in-store promotions, Maccabee also:

  • Launched Kemps’ Pillsbury Ice Cream, generating 16 million consumer impressions through 228 newspaper and magazine mentions of the product. Maccabee secured Newsweek magazine’s praise for Pillsbury Brownies ‘n Cream Ice Cream as one of its “Great Things To Do This Week”
  • Premiered Prairie Home Companion Ice Cream with a celebrity event at the actual diner featured in Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion” movie
  • Launched Kemps’ Las Vegas Fudge Chunk through shopping mall events featuring Dueling Elvis Presley impersonators. Thank you, thank you very much
  • Unveiled Kemps’ new Caribou Coffee Ice Cream, with a media event featuring live scooping by Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Caribou Coffee’s CEO
  • Created an “Udderly Amazing Cow Sculpture Contest” that attracted 600 drawings of cows inspired by Minnesota legends such as Bob Dylan and baseball player Kirby Puckett. Maccabee then coordinated TV and newspaper publicity when the resulting 140-pound, 8-foot-long cow sculptures were exhibited at the Minnesota State Fair.