Ben & Jerry’s resolves Twitter flavour battle

The Barenaked Ladies-inspired ice cream launches a million faces in the latest phase of a social media-only campaign that first used Twitter to whet consumers' appetites.

A Ben & Jerry’s Twitter drama that unfolded last month resolved itself yesterday with the launch of the first-ever Canadian flavour, ‘If I had 1,000,000 flavours.’ Named after the popular ’90s Barenaked Ladies song, all proceeds from the sale of the new flavour will go to support ABC Canada Literacy Foundation. As part of the buzz, Canadians are also asked to ‘flavourize’ themselves by uploading their portrait to for a chance to win a year’s supply of the new ice cream and attend a Barenaked Ladies concert as VIPs.

In the first phase of the social media campaign, developed by Capital C and promoted by Harbinger, six ‘flavours’ anxiously tweeted about whether or not they would be part of the new ice cream. They each had a personality and bickered with each other, all the while asking consumers to support their cause. About 3,800 people joined the Twitter soap box, which was promoted through Unilever’s email subscriber list, a Facebook page and partnerships with influential Twitterati, explains Mark Jordan, account director, digital at Capital C.

‘The purpose of the storyline was to build to this ultimate resolution, which is the release of the flavour and the launch of the contest site. Using the thousands of people who have been following us throughout the buildup, we’re actually now promoting and pushing them to the contest site,’ Jordan tells MiC.

Targeting the 25- to 34-year-old demo, Jordan says the soc-media success was measured by the active dialogue with followers intrigued by the storyline and interacting with the personas. Ultimately, he adds, the measure of the campaign’s success will be the number of people who upload their images and enter the BNL contest, which runs through the summer.

The cheeky campaign is entirely in the spirit of the brand, says Shoshana Price, brand champion for Ben & Jerry’s. ‘We never go to the typical advertising campaign. It’s about connecting to consumers in different and unique ways that are meaningful to them and also supporting causes that are meaningful to them. So this is very much in the spirit of the brand,’ she tells MiC.