Ben & Jerry’s brand of ice-cream started in 1978 with a $12,000 investment ($4,000 of it borrowed). They opened their first ice-cream shop in a renovated gas station in Burlington, Vermont. Ben & Jerry’s company was expanded by the opening of their first franchise shop in Shelburne, Vermont. Big life changes occurred in 2000, when Ben & Jerry’s became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever.
In 2012, Ben & Jerry’s, invited about 115,000 of their active Instagram followers to upload pictures where “euphoria” was represented, as their moto was that this was the magic word when someone tastes Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. The promotional website states that: “Ben & Jerry’s not only creates euphoria but also celebrates it. Show us how you capture euphoria in your own way. By adding the hashtag #captureeuphoria to Instagram photos, you are automatically entered for a chance for the Ben & Jerry’s team to choose you for their local advertising campaign. Specifically, the ones that make us laugh, or smile, or just feel a little funny inside.”
The tag #captureeuphoria was successfully used and followers of their page posted photos with happy kids’ faces, pet photos etc. Around 20 photos of the ones tagged were used in local advertisements (e.g. in billboards) by Haworth Marketing and Media. Once the winners were selected, some survey questions were asked such as “what bus route do you take?” or “which restaurants do you frequently visit?”. Their answers gave us the necessary pathways to make suitable media buys. The winning photos were finally featured in local bus stations and billboards near the winners’ homes.
The greater success of all was the one of followers’ engagement. The Instagram page was receiving around 18,000 photos containing the tag #captureeuphoria. Press articles in Yahoo, Adwerk and other sites included the success of Ben & Jerry’s community engagement. Moreover, Ben & Jerry’s Instagram followers increased by 22% in three months. This shows a huge success of the campaign as Instagram is one of the most attractive social media.
The partnership with Silver and Partners agency together with Haworth Marketing and Media, gave Ben & Jerry’s the advantage to become interactive and appealing. On the other hand, significant is the part that social media allows business to interact with their fans. By creating an innovative and engaging campaign like this one, Ben & Jerry’s increased their fans commitment and successfully encouraged their followers to be a part of it.