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Posts Tagged ‘Ben & Jerry’s’

Ben & Jerry’s Goes Rogue on GMOs

ben-and-jerrys

Here’s a very interesting report on some internal conflict within the massive conglomerate we call Unilever: seems that the company and one of its most valued properties disagree on the issue of genetically modified organisms in food.

Matthew Boyle of Bloomberg reports that, while Ben & Jerry’s strongly supports its home state’s new law requiring GMO foods to be labeled as such, Unilever does not. Shocking, we know.

Yet Unilever allows the ice cream kings to be outspoken in their advocacy because, as an analyst tells Bloomberg:

“I don’t think they will ever want the potentially massive negative PR of trying to silence B&J.”

Well, yeah.

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Ben & Jerry’s Shows Us How to Use Instagram

Instagram is pushing hard on the business front this week: first the company distributed a hard copy “how to advertise” handbook for a select few brands, then it released this accompanying video for those of us scared by blocks of text printed on a page.

The follow-up was this extremely informal Ben & Jerry’s case study on the Instagram tumblr page.

The how-tos are broad to say the least: establish a theme tied to your brand, add related hashtags to your images, encourage followers to “submit” their own and then “become the curator of [your] brand story” by sharing your favorites. Here’s the most useful line:

“…many [followers] compose their shots using the framing techniques modeled by the brand. One favorite: a shot of a cone or cup from the POV of the person about to enjoy it, with a fun backdrop that identifies where they are.”

It’s quite simply, really—just show them how to do it and they will. We would tell you whether the book goes into a little more detail, but no one sent us a copy. : (

Ben & Jerry’s Just Showed Us How to Use That Jelly

Still not sure what to make of Jelly, the new “ask and you might possibly receive” app from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone? We have to admit we didn’t really see how the app could be relevant to PR or marketing—based on what we read it just seemed like a mobile, crowdsourced version of Ask Jeeves.

This morning, however, we discovered that at least one brand has found a way to promote via Jelly (H/T to David Armano of Edelman and Lauren K. Gray of PRSA and Finn Partners):

Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 10.03.32 AM

Nice sort-of-humblebrag, guys.

Now how else can we use Jelly to make ourselves look good?

Colorado Weed Joke Proves That Ben & Jerry Are Just Hippies

Colorado: Where “Home on the Range” means something completely different.

On January 1, the Centennial State became the nation’s first to legalize marijuana. That means all Deadheads and Widespread Panic fans are putting their homes on the market because Denver suddenly is the place to be, but ice cream major domos Ben and Jerry also decided to do something that should have created big PR issues for their brand.

You think that was a #PRFail or #PRWin? Take a gander at the numbers. More than 10,000 retweets and 6,000 favorites says #winning all day long. And while “half baked” on “phish food,” that day is going to last a long, long time. Now, pass me those stale Cheetos, please.

Hollywood Stars and Advocacy Groups Tell the NSA: ‘Stop Watching Us’

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a civil liberties organization that has scheduled a protest tomorrow in Washington, D.C. over the National Security Administration’s data collection (aka “spying”) activities.

We’re interested primarily because we don’t know that we’ve ever heard of a cause that somehow managed to unite not just Maggie Gyllenhaal, John Cusack, the ACLU and Upworthy founder Eli Pariser but a whole slew of hyper-partisan political groups ranging from the left wing Demand Progress to the right-wing Freedom Works and the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute. It’s a pretty impressive list.

The EFF even managed to snag Ben & Jerry’s. We can’t imagine parent company Unilever approves, but at least the after-party will be delicious.

We’re not sure what the protest will accomplish, exactly, but it’s a testament to the organizational powers of the people involved. It also reminds us that you really can engage thousands of people if you’re “marketing” a cause they believe in.

Also: it’s good to see Wil Wheaton again, because Next Generation was obviously the best Star Trek series. No debate.

Brands See Opportunity In Gay Marriage Ruling

We can all agree on one thing: today’s Supreme Court decision invalidating the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act was, is, and will continue to be a big deal. It’s not that the justices’ conclusions were a big surprise as most observers did not expect them to uphold existing gay marriage bans on the state or federal level. But it still inspired strong emotions for many Americans.

Of course, politicians of all stripes were quick to offer their takes on the issue.

In other words, the debate will go on. Now for the question of the day: how can brands turn this major cultural and political event into a great PR opportunity?

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Ben & Jerry’s Milks Brand Loyalty for PR Bonanza

The public has become incredibly cynical about the gimmicky promo tricks some brands throw at us so we’ll part ways with our hard-earned money. We’re not stupid, and we all know that nothing in life is free: buy one and get one free isn’t free at all — and neither is the “free checking” your bank offers new customers or that free coffee waiting at the end of your stamped loyalty card.

In the end, we all pay for free stuff with our time, money and/or energy. Nevertheless, Ben & Jerry’s just proved, by way of its 34th annual Free Cone Day, that the public is willing to go a little further than usual in the interest of free ice cream. In fact, eager customers around the world crashed the brand’s website while trying to locate the nearest of 650 stores in 20 countries where they might score some free frozen sugar. This is a public relations success for Ben & Jerry’s on every level.

Why?

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Ben & Jerry’s Sues Porn Company

America’s favorite Northeastern ice cream fanatics found themselves in a bit of a sticky situation when they discovered that a porn production company had been selling X-rated DVDs with titles and graphics imitating those that grace Ben & Jerry’s famous pints.

Now the creamery (or their parent company, Unilever) has decided to sue—and bring a whole lot of attention to the smut merchants behind such classics as “Boston Cream Thigh” and “Peanut Butter D-Cup.”

We have to ask: Is it really in the company’s best interests to draw this incident out? And is “Hairy Garcia” really any more offensive than “Karamel Sutra” or the infamous Baldwin-inspired “Schweddy Balls?” We do acknowledge that the graphic rip-off is a blatant case of copyright infringement, but we wonder whether the incident will actually “cause confusion in the minds of consumers”–we can’t remember the last time we went looking for “adult entertainment” in the dairy section.

Edelman Teams With Poptent for Video PR Push

PR top dogs Edelman just announced a new partnership with the crowdsourcing video producers Poptent.

The relationship is fairly straightforward: Edelman will use Poptent’s considerable talent pool to complement the video savvy of its sister company MATTER, Inc. and more aggressively promote its own clients. The two brands aren’t strangers — they recently worked together on ToGetHerThere, a PSA campaign celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of America. So why did they choose this moment to join forces? Read more

Ben & Jerry’s Joins List of People Taking Lin-Sanity To an Offensive Place

Adding to the list of Jeremy Lin gaffes is a Boston Ben & Jerry’s shop, which created a special “Taste the Lin-Sanity” flavor that included lychee honey swirls and… wait for it… fortune cookie pieces. Groan.

Note the past tenses in that first sentence. News of this misguided flavor combination came out on Friday (we tweeted about it) and since then, the shop has issued an apology and replaced the offending cookie with waffle cone.

The flavor was introduced after the Asian American Journalists Association very clearly laid out a list of references that are considered unacceptable and offensive. Number four on the list: “FOOD: Is there a compelling reason to draw a connection between Lin and fortune cookies, takeout boxes or similar imagery? In the majority of news coverage, the answer will be no.”

Perhaps the folks at this Ben & Jerry’s shop were high on “Magic Brownies” when they came up with this flavor. Or maybe they thought the rules for journalism didn’t apply to ice cream makers. Alas, they were wrong.

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