General Social Media

Ben & Jerry’s ‘City Churned’ Campaign Crowdsources Local Flavors

June 3, 2013

Just like Ben & Jerry’s, cities are made of different ingredients that work together to form a unique essence. That’s why our first program on behalf of the brand is encouraging ice cream lovers from some of the nation’s biggest cities to create and name their own ice cream flavors based on the respective personalities of their stomping grounds.

Launched today, Ben & Jerry’s ‘City Churned’ campaign invites people from New York, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C. to invent new flavors around the unique attributes that make up their cities – including things like public transportation, parks, landmarks, tweets, photos, traffic and, of course, the people themselves.

Additionally, some of the votes within each city are automatically cast by the city’s natural ‘heartbeat,’ or the everyday choices of its residents. For example:

  • In New York City, cabs traveling uptown count as votes for Peppermint, while cabs headed downtown count as votes for Fairtrade Vanilla.
  • In D.C., every on-time Red Line and Orange Line Metro train will count as a vote for either Cherries or Fairtrade Bananas.
  • In Portland, votes are cast for either Marshmallows or Graham Crackers depending on whether a man walking through the door at Cartopia – the city’s famed food cart pavilion – has a mustache or a beard.

We’ll be using video footage of these happenings and other quirks in each market, and leveraging the content within a larger digital media campaign used to drive people to the City Churned microsite, where ice cream lovers can then track, vote for, and even name their favorite flavors. Content captured on the ground will also be used within the Ben & Jerry’s Facebook and Twitter communities, where fans will be asked to tweet their wittiest and most creative ice cream flavor name alongside their city’s City Churned hashtag.

For the past three years, the brand has been delivering summer fun across cities nationwide via its popular ‘Scoop Truck’ campaign. Ice cream lovers could tweet to ask Ben & Jerry’s to stop by their office or location with free ice cream or Greek frozen yogurt. This year, the Scoop Truck will serve as yet another voting platform. For instance, once city natives are done enjoying their complimentary Ben & Jerry’s via a Scoop Truck visit, their spoons will be turned into ‘ballots,’ and they will then be asked to deposit their ballots in one of several recycling boxes marked with various ingredient names.

At the end of the Scoop Truck’s visit in each market, Ben & Jerry’s will host a ‘Community Build’ day of local service, during which residents of the city will have the one-time only chance to taste their exclusive City Churned flavor from the truck!

This campaign marks our first work in market following 360i’s new partnership with Ben & Jerry’s, announced last month. You can read more about the effort in Adweek.