About Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s was founded by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield in the year 1978 in the state of Vermont, USA. It is well known for its super-premium ice creams which is available in a wide variety of flavours. They claim to use the finest quality ingredients in the making of their ice creams. It belongs to the Vermont corporation and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Unilever. Their mission is to create a product which emphasizes on product quality produced in a way which is economically rewarding. They consider it as a commitment to the society and believe in fulfilling the same to the best of their ability.
Ben & Jerry’s Business Objective
Ben and Jerry’s is a leading brand in the USA and had a objective to start a unique and new flavour in its product catalog. They were focusing on increasing their loyalty base by introducing a unique flavour which will act as a differentiator in comparison to its competition. They thought of various ways in which they could meet this objective and had to choose the best possible option which can give them the desired outcome. Finally, they decided to take the help of Twitter platform combined with promos on TV to encourage their ice cream fans to participate and give their suggestions for introducing a new and unique Ben & Jerry’s flavour. For the same, they were mainly targeting youths in the age group 18 to 34. The participants were expected to give their suggestions on Twitter, which would be used by the company to bring out the new flavour.
Approach / Strategy Adopted By Ben & Jerry’s
In order to achieve their objective and drive campaign awareness, Ben & Jerry’s used promoted trends on Twitter. They also promoted tweets and re-tweets by determining and targeting selected keywords, specific interests and search. In order to bring awareness about the Twitter campaign, they also ran a TV advertisement campaign. Here, they used #MyBenandJerrys hashtag and promoted tweets to users who were engaged and interested in watching specific shows. During these shows, the audiences were requested to give their suggestions for the introduction of a unique, new flavour. They also conducted a trial using TV conversation targeting wherein the viewers were encouraged to participate in the Twitter campaign. The take away that the lucky winner would be awarded was a private supply of the newly introduced unique flavour, delivered directly at their door step. To start off with and create a sense of ownership in the minds of the audiences, they took the first step of creating a hashtag – ‘#MyBenandJerry’s’ which the audience was supposed to use in their tweets.
Besides this Twitter campaign, they decided to also develop and build a content plan in partnership with a media agency. The media agency they chose was Mindshare, a UK based company. It was a well though of plan by Ben & Jerry’s to also include the inputs of a media agency in achieving their objective. A very smart strategy used by Ben & Jerry’s to spark off conversations on Twitter was to first target a number of tweeters who are celebrities and have a significant fan following. This was bound to give an initial boost to the whole campaign and generate tweets and re-tweets to promote the campaign.
Mindshare used various tools to assess and strategize its content strategy. It used online listening tools to determine and understand the patterns of conversations happening in popular TV shows regarding the campaign. Based on the data received from this exercise, they could strategize their next move for the campaign. They also rewarded the fans who participated in the drive with personalized infographics of the suggestions given by them through their tweets containing their suggested concoctions of #MyBenandJerrys flavours. This was a great way to increase participation and encourage more and more audience to give in their suggestions. In addition to this, after the TV ads were aired, they also took the effort of engaging the user tweets with replying, re-tweeting and favouriting in order to encourage two- way conversations with the target audience to demonstrate acknowledgement and responsiveness.
What worked the best for Ben and Jerry’s were a combination of multiple strategies. They had chosen a very catchy and snappy hashtag which benefited the outcome of the campaign. It not only contained the brand name of the product, but also gave a sense of involvement and ownership to the fans. The content teams of both the companies put their minds together to create ideas which could be shared with the ice cream fans. They came up with innovative ideas to reward the best performing tweets in the campaign with re – tweets and tagged as favourites hundreds of times.
With the help of the Twitter campaign and TV advertisements, the team was able to achieve phenomenal results and were satisfied with the outcome. They were able to tap 6.8K of additional followers to Ben and Jerry’s brand. They also saw an engagement rate of 15.2% peak promoted Tweet at the end of the campaign. The number of mentions increased by 61%, when the TV advertisement campaign was combined with the Twitter campaign. There was also an increase in the peak promoted trend engagement rate by 19.4%.
Twitter can be used as a very effective platform to run a marketing campaign. It has a large reach and can be used to generate participation among targeted users. It can also be used to encourage participation among the users and seek their involvement in promoting the campaign. Twitter users who are celebrities can be used to promote the campaign and reach a significant number of audiences within a short span of time. Using the Twitter platform, one can achieve a significant increase in the engagement rate of a brand just like other social media platforms.
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