Ice Cream Social: Strategists by trade, creatives by nature

A social agency born out of an ice cream truck that brings people together

кем India Fizer , AdForum

Ice Cream Social
Chicago, United States
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Mike Weiss
Co-Founder and President Ice Cream Social

Victoria Roedel
Co-Founder and Partner Ice Cream Social

Digital media agency and content shop, Ice Cream Social, was founded in 2020 by two ad agency strategists, Mike Weiss and Victoria Roedel. The duo saw the opportunity to shake up the industry and do things differently - starting with an ice cream truck - proving 'when you dare to dream, ideas come true'.


Can you give us a brief overview of your structure and some of the clients with whom you work?

Ice Cream Social was founded with a goal of delivering custom, flexible solutions to brands seeking social media services. Stemming from our experiences working at various agencies like Laundry Service, Giant Spoon, and Mekanism, our vision was to introduce a fresh approach to brands that breaks free from the constraints of traditional agency processes and rate cards.

Our core focus revolves around crafting content strategies and production that align with social media-scaled marketing budgets. We understand the importance of working at the speed of social, ensuring that our clients succeed in the digital space.

We are strategists by trade and creatives by nature. We love being hands on and working alongside our clients, providing ongoing strategy as a collaborative partner. You’ll also find us out in the field making content or conducting a pickup shoot. We lean on a select group of trusted and skilled contractors, including media buyers, photographers, and project managers, to help us keep the train on the tracks.

We partner with clients across all verticals, including PepsiCo, Taco Bell, Resorts World, and jewelry brand Cartography. While our approach is tailored to the unique objectives of each client, a consistent element we bring to every partnership is our deep understanding and passion for social media.

Opening in the midst of the pandemic must have been tough. Can you tell us about some unique challenges that presented? Alternatively, any unique opportunities? 

Opening Ice Cream Social in the midst of the pandemic was undoubtedly a unique journey that presented both challenges and unexpected opportunities.

The inception of our agency stemmed from a desire to break away from the trend of agencies trying to be everything to everybody. Our vision was simple - inspired by the joy of ice cream, we aimed to create a refreshing and whimsical social media agency, one that specialized in engaging and innovative digital strategies while infusing fun into every aspect of the work. 

We made the leap in 2020 when the global pandemic was at its peak. Relocating from New York and San Francisco (respectively) to Chicago, we purchased and restored a 1968 Good Humor Ice Cream truck, intending for it to be the mascot of our agency. Little did we know that this vintage gem would become more than just a symbol – it transformed into a business opportunity. 

We found ourselves not only selling our social media services but also delicious ice cream treats. The neighborhoods embraced us, hungry for a taste of normalcy and nostalgia during those strange times. Our vintage ice cream trucks became a beacon of joy, offering a rare chance to indulge in a frosty treat when many other options were limited. Beyond being a delightful surprise, our unconventional approach garnered attention and press coverage, inadvertently catapulting our social media agency into success during its infancy. The resounding success that summer was a motivational force, fueling our determination to continue this unique endeavor as a social agency born out of an ice cream truck. 


It is quite cool that you all do pitch meetings from the ice cream truck! Without giving away your secret recipe, how do you compete with established agencies? 

Engaging in pitch meetings from our ice cream truck is more than a tactic – it's a reflection of the entrepreneurial and fun spirit that we embody daily. While established agencies may claim these qualities, we’re out there living them.

What began as an agency venture unfolded into a secondary success - a thriving ice cream truck business. In an era where ice cream trucks struggle to survive, navigating daily challenges has armed us with invaluable tools as agency owners. Running an ice cream truck business is no cakewalk; the unpredictability of broken equipment and reluctant engines is a testament to that. Yet, facing and overcoming these challenges has shaped our approach to client relationships, instilling empathy and understanding of the dynamics they’re navigating. The resilience, tenacity, and cool professionalism we exhibit in the face of adversity have translated into our approach with brands navigating the social realm.

Our journey has transformed challenges into strengths. Every hiccup with the ice cream truck has become a metaphor for our approach to solving problems for our clients – with unwavering confidence that together, we can conquer anything.


A recent survey by Insider Intelligence found that 1 in 3 Gen Zers purchased a product from an influencer-founded brand in the last year. How best can mainstream / existing brands tap into younger generations? 

To effectively engage younger generations, brands can leverage social listening data to gain insights into the influencers who hold sway over their specific target audience. This is exemplified by the NFL’s latest strategy involving Taylor Swift leading up to and during the Super Bowl. Young women have been expressing interest in the NFL by inquiring about "Taylor's boyfriend" playing on Sundays. By catering to the desire of this specific group to catch a glimpse of Taylor in the box, the NFL provided a welcome environment. The proof is in the pudding with the growth of female NFL viewers currently surpassing that of males in some age demographics.

Mainstream as well as newcomer brands can adopt a similar strategy by identifying influencers relevant to their target demographic and strategically aligning with them to establish meaningful connections with younger generations. Gen Z and millennials seek products and brands that align with their values, and influencers are a key gateway they use to learn and explore.


In the next year, what does your roadmap for growth look like? 

Approaching our fifth year in business, Ice Cream Social is doubling down on our core vision to bring the refreshingly simple, whimsical joy of an ice cream social to life.

This year, we're excited to return to Lollapalooza in Chicago with two ice cream trucks and a potential brand partnership. We had a blast there in 2023 selling frozen novelties from a Lolla-curated menu, featuring Pretty Cool Ice Cream, a local artisan brand.

As part of our growth, we’re making moves to enhance our in-house production capabilities, showcasing the quality and uniqueness of our offering.

And as always, our entrepreneurial spirit continues to drive us. We're venturing into new territories, with the possibility of introducing a Chicago-based ice cream brand – an exciting side project to add another layer of innovation to our ice cream trucks.

Looking forward, our ambition is to establish our own ice cream company, dedicated to crafting distinctive, high-quality novelties exclusively available from our trucks. This endeavor not only reinforces our commitment to creativity but also aligns with our vision of providing delightful and memorable experiences. 

As we double down on our vision, value proposition, and growth strategies, Ice Cream Social is fueled by a passion to redefine both the ice cream industry and social media marketing landscape.