In the midst of impeachment buildup and “Hot Girl Summer” and Greta Thunberg’s voyage to the U.S. and Lizzo-mania, perhaps you missed 2019’s true song of the summer. You know, the one about the Ice Cream of the Future. “Got myself one cup / Now I’m feeling like I’m on top,” sang the recently-disbanded major label tween girl group L2M (Jenna Raine, Kenzie Mack, Tati McQuay, and Mariangeli Collado) on the dance-pop song “I Want My Dippin’ Dots.” The video was released this past May, in which a bunch of happy young people enjoy their frozen dessert while singing: “I be all about that / I be all about Dippin’ Dots.”
The song — which was paid for by the flash-frozen ice cream company — would not go on to top the charts, but it transcended advertising jingle, taking on more of a life than any recording with an artist listed simply as “Dippin’ Dots” on Spotify had any right to. Local news anchors tweeted about the song; it would get played in professional sports stadiums, garner well over 100,000 plays on YouTube, and, as the corporation had very much intended, even foster a minor viral dance challenge.
“We’ve had something like 78,000 streams so far,” Dana Knudsen, director of marketing at Dippin’ Dots, told Rolling Stone this past summer. “That’s pretty good, considering we’re not a band.”
“I Want My Dippin’ Dots,” it turns out, is not even the only song of its sort. Like most everything that happened in 2019, the ice cream company’s foray into pre-teen pop began in 2016. That year, the New York singer Dawin joined up with Silentó for a nihilistic viral hit titled “Dessert.” When Dippin’ Dots first heard the song, they saw an opportunity.
“Part of the lyrics was that you can imitate it, but you can’t duplicate it,” says Knudsen. “We thought that was what Dippin’ Dots was about.”
Dippin’ Dots soon reached out to Dawin about a possible collaboration. “We liked his ‘Dessert’ song,” says Knudsen, “but it was like, ‘can you craft it where you speak about Dippin’ Dots in it?’”
Dawin happily obliged, releasing a “Dippin’ Dots remix” of “Dessert” to celebrate National Ice Cream Day in the summer of 2016. For licensing reasons, the song is no longer publicly available, but a short clip of it still exists.
“I wanted to challenge myself creatively and present a fun rendition of ‘Dessert,’” Dawin said at the time. “Especially since I’ve been familiar with Dippin’ Dots for many years.” Dawin teamed up with the futuristic Kentucky-based ice cream company once again for “I Want My Dippin’ Dots,” writing the original song for the now-individual members of L2M to craft the company’s youth-oriented theme song. Eventually the company also enlisted JoJo Siwa’s choreographer Guy Groove to come up with an original dance to the song.
I have no idea how I first encountered “I Want My Dippin’ Dots,” but I do know that once I heard it, I couldn’t look away. I’m not sure if the song made me crave Dippin’ Dots in the summertime more than usual (I didn’t need a catchy pop song for that), but it certainly made me think about them much more. As the song puts it during its half-rapped verse, “This is a Dippin’ Dots situation.”
I started singing the song to myself. I played it for friends and family members. I wasn’t alone; some of them told me they had the same reaction. “Omg I just listened to this song once and it immediately got stuck in my head!” one commenter wrote on YouTube.
“I wish dippin dots had carts in my neighborhood,” wrote another.
It’s exactly what the company had intended. “One of the main things we want to do is have Dippin’ Dots be a part of kids’ lives,” says Knudsen. “Wherever they are having fun, whether it’s in an amusement park where they’re going to ride a ride and then they’re going to get Dippin’ Dots, or whether it’s a video game, or, in this case, music, we want to be engrained in their lives.”