Case Study: The Flavor of Philanthropy: A Spunky Brand Goes Social in the Name of Peace, Love and Ice Cream


Company: Ben & Jerry's Agency: ViTrue Inc. Timeframe: April 2008-ongoing For such a young company by most standards, Ben & Jerry's has a long and storied history, having evolved from a small-town ice cream shop founded by two childhood friends-- Ben and Jerry, of course--to an international franchise that was acquired by multi-brand behemoth Unilever in 2000. But the happy-go-lucky, tree-hugging brand, known for its funky flavors and its "peace, love and ice cream" mantra, didn't convert to "corporate," despite the buttoned-up personality of its new parent company; rather, its leadership took great pains to stay true to Ben & Jerry's roots, tie-dye and all. Now, in light of the company's nontraditional approach to business success, its management team has one more thing to talk about: the launch of its newest philanthropic endeavor (along with that of its corollary, namesake ice cream flavor), "Imagine Whirled Peace." In addition to its noble mission--you guessed it: spreading the message of world peace--the campaign's creators took a quirky approach to get the attention of audiences of all shapes and flavors--an approach that led the scoop shop into the unknown.

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