Frozen-treat chain Rita’s Italian Ice looks to reawaken brand awareness for the first day of spring with its first national TV commercial and a systemwide giveaway of a regular-size Italian ice.
Rita’s will mark the 20th anniversary of its Free Ice Giveaway Tuesday. The annual promotion began in 1992 as a way to celebrate the seasonal reopening of the chain.
This year, the Trevose, Pa.-based brand will promote its treats on national TV for the first time. The commercial stars Cool Treats Gang characters who represent different Rita’s menu items, like the Italian ice, frozen custard, gelato, and the Misto and Blendini products.
Watch the commercial; story continues below
“We are excited to celebrate our 20th year of the first day of spring by debuting our first-ever TV spots and welcoming our guests to enjoy a free Rita’s Ice,” chief executive Jonathan Fornaci said in a statement. “In the new commercials, our Rita’s Cool Treats come to life to give the world ice, custard and happiness.”
EFK Group and Shooters Inc. produced the commercials, Rita’s said.
Several chains have standardized a giveaway strategy as part of their grand-opening strategy in new markets, including Chick-fil-A and Buffalo Wild Wings, who typically give away coupons for a year’s worth of chicken sandwiches or wings to the first few hundred people in line at a location’s grand opening. Over St. Patrick’s Day weekend this year, Burger King gave away free value-size orders of French fries and green ketchup to increase traffic.
Rita’s Italian Ice operates or franchises more than 550 locations in 18 states.