The Success of Mr. Softee

Earlier this summer, I wrote about an ice cream truck rolling through our neighborhood at 10 p.m. At the time, I thought it was a little odd and annoying.

This was my first ever glimpse of the Mr. Softee ice cream truck. It was June and I saw it in our neighborhood at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night.

I changed my tune a week later when I actually tried product from that particular ice cream truck. Wow, I thought, if the ice cream is this good, it can come around at any hour it wants.

The next week after seeing the truck for the first time, we actually got ice cream. It was incredible.

Almost two months later, my attitude toward Mr. Softee is completely different than it was that initial June evening when I watched it drive by our cul-de-sac at a very non-traditional ice cream truck time. In fact, my opinion on Mr. Softee is even more accepting than it was after I was converted on the quality of the product alone. You see, it isn’t just the ice cream I like – it is the entire Mr. Softee marketing operation.

Sid, my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, niece, and nephew getting ice cream from Mr. Softee. The entire operation is pretty impressive.

For many of you who are probably unfamiliar, Mr. Softee is an ice cream truck franchise that originated in the northeast. Although it has been around since 1956, it hasn’t aggressively expanded its number of trucks until recently. Even now, you can only find Mr. Softee in 15 states. Luckily, South Carolina is one of them.

Mr. Softee started riding through Myrtle Beach streets just a few months ago. However, thanks to the way franchises do business, it made an immediate splash.

This is a Mr. Softee sundae I enjoyed in July. Can’t you just tell that it is quality ice cream by looking at it?

Mr. Softee offered something that “the other guys” didn’t – soft serve ice cream. We aren’t talking ice cream sandwiches and fudgesickles stuck in a freezer all summer long. Rather, what the new guy on the block brought to the table was a creamy, rich, and fresh product that had Myrtle Beach residents hooked from the first taste.

With actual ice cream on the menu opposed to a processed frozen dairy concoction on a stick, Mr. Softee was already a winner. But was that all? Hardly. Mr. Softee had enough marketing tricks up its sleeve to make an all-out assault on other ice cream trucks.

We are a Mr. Softee-loving family!

An identity is so important to any brand. On any given summer day, I can hear random children’s melodies playing outside. Oh, just another one of the numerous ice cream trucks in Myrtle Beach. Not with Mr. Softee. Every single Mr. Softee truck in all 15 states at all times plays the same jingle. There is no switching back-and-forth between songs when the driver grows tired of hearing one. By now, the Mr. Softee jingle is cemented in my brain (along with everyone else in Myrtle Beach) and when I hear it I know that delicious ice cream is not far away.

The perception of being unique is coveted by any company or franchise that is worth a damn. I have already made it clear that Mr. Softee offers an ice cream product that other trucks don’t. But it stands out in a couple of other ways too. You know how I initially bashed Mr. Softee for keeping late hours? Shame on me! The non-traditional schedule satisfies the large Mr. Softee adult fan base while at the same allows it to reach more customers and sell more ice cream. Mr. Softee is the “cool” ice cream truck that will remain on the streets when the sun goes down, outlasting the other trucks by hours. The franchise also accepts debit cards, hands out business cards, and will pull up to random block parties.

Although all of us in the family enjoy Mr. Softee, Sloan probably likes it most of all.

Nothing is more vital than effectively advertising your business. Not only does Mr. Softee thrive at this, it does so at a low cost. Social media, like many food trucks, is the major advertising vehicle of Mr. Softee (at least the Myrtle Beach franchise). Do you want to see Facebook engagement at its best? Watch what happens when the Mr. Softee page simply posts who wants ice cream? Hundreds of people will respond, creating enough leads for Mr. Softee to be busy for about 20 years (and that is just from a single post). There is no doubt about it, Mr. Softee has developed a unique social media voice with an extremely active audience. It is a money-making marketing machine.

Good PR can only help one’s marketing efforts and Mr. Softee has this covered as well. The truck will show up at community events, offer discounted prices for fundraisers, and even stop at local lemonade stands. This is all chronicled on the Mr. Softee Myrtle Beach Facebook page.

Nothing better than enjoying Mr. Softee with family.

Yes, Mr. Softee became a sensation on the Grand Strand this summer. The franchise has generated media coverage, won over avid fans, and established itself as the best ice cream truck in Myrtle Beach. Congrats to the franchise on its success and I hope the truck drives by our street soon. Don’t Blink.

America Thursday Rundown

Quick! What day is it?! If the Fourth of July holiday has you messed up, don’t feel bad! Because your trusty Don’t Blink blogger is just about to deliver his latest Thursday Rundown, you probably now have a good idea what day it is. Let’s get started…

Oscar Mayer Wienermobile – When I read in the newspaper that the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile was making a supermarket tour through Myrtle Beach, I knew we couldn’t miss it. The vehicle was in town at the end of last week and, lucky for me, CCU employees work only half days during the summer. So, that afternoon, Sid, Sloan, and I went to a Publix grocery store to visit the Wienermobile. It was quite exhilarating to see the iconic “hot dog on wheels” in person. We touched it and took photos with it. But the best part was what you can’t see in the photos. Off to the side of the Wienermobile was a food trailer giving away free Oscar Mayer hot dogs. Score!

On Friday, our family visited the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

Fourth of July Recap – We had a nice holiday! The three of us woke up early (when don’t we wake up early?) and ate breakfast at a diner right next to our house. We then hit up our neighborhood pool before it got too busy. Next we headed over to my sister-in-law’s neighborhood to watch a Fourth of July golf cart parade her family was participating in. We ate an all-American lunch (chicken sandwiches) and watched the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. A little bit later we went swimming for the second time that day. After taking an hour or so to rest at our house, we went out on the boat with my in-laws to watch fireworks from the water. We anchored at Barefoot Landing and had an enjoyable time hanging out before the show started. When we walked through our front door to call it a day, it was a little past 11 p.m. ‘Merica.

We had a nice Fourth of July. We ended the holiday on the Intracoastal Waterway watching the Barefoot Landing fireworks.

Eating Breakfast – Of course I couldn’t mention that we went to a diner to eat breakfast without giving more details. After all, I am the blogger who believes that everyone should go out to breakfast every now and then. We went to the Early Riser Diner, a neighborhood restaurant located in a small strip mall not far from our house. Sidney had a Belgian waffle and Sloan had pancakes. I too had pancakes but did you think I would get them plain? I ordered the sweet potato pecan hotcakes and they were delicious.

We had a delicious breakfast at the Early Riser Diner on the Fourth of July.

Leftover Fireworks – On Fourth of July Eve, Sidney let me put on a fireworks show for our niece and nephew. My display attracted a lot of neighbor kids as well! I had a great time setting them off but because of bed times, I didn’t get to blow up my entire arsenal. I have some heavy artillery still left over. I am talking mortars and other powerful aerial fireworks. With us arriving home late last night, I didn’t have the opportunity to light them off. My question is this: How do you dispose of fireworks? I don’t want them around the house. I would rather give them away but if no one wants them, I need advice on how to properly toss them. Thanks.

Want some free fireworks? I did not finish the contents of this big box that we purchased over the weekend.

Taking Back My Words – Okay, I have to come clean. Last week, I sounded a bit irriatated when I mentioned that a Mr. Softee ice cream truck was cruising our neighborhood at 10 p.m. Let me take those hostile words back and say this: Mr. Softee is welcome in our neighborhood at any time! On Saturday, Sid and I bought a cone from the Mr. Softee truck and it was the best soft serve I have had in a long time. It was so good that I tried to hunt him down for another cone after he had left our street (no luck). If you haven’t had the pleasure, make sure to try Mr. Softee sooner rather than later.

Sidney with the Mr. Softee ice cream cone we shared on Saturday.


For those who made this an extended Fourth of July weekend, I hope you are enjoying yourself. Thanks for reading my blog and God bless America. Don’t Blink.