The three biggest-spending brands are all owned by Unilever. Magnum and Carte D'Or ploughed most of their budgets into TV (52.5% and 46.3% respectively), whereas Ben & Jerry's put most of its spend into cinema (60.7%).

Regional brands that have made it big, Kelly's and Mackie's, are the fifth and 14th-biggest spenders, with 99% and 52.6% of their spend respectively on TV. R&R bought Kelly's in 2008 and before this the brand hadn't received any ad support. In May 2009, it ran a £2m TV campaign called Cornish By Nature with the strap 'Simple Pleasure', featuring a Cornish farm.

The regional story had national resonance, says senior brand manager at R&R Charlotte Hambling. "Kelly's has the Cornish story, which is intrinsic to ice cream," she says.

Häagen-Dazs is the fourth-biggest spender but, as Culf concedes, its advertising hasn't achieved the standout hoped for. However, this is set to change with the Melt Together TV campaign. One execution shows a young stagehand and his girlfriend watching ballet from the wings while sharing ice cream.

"There's too much trashy sex going on in the world and this is more sophisticated and about emotion," he says.

Focus On Ice Cream