- Ben & Jerry's hosted a pop-up street carnival in Los Angeles this week to celebrate the launch of new flavors in its non-dairy, truffle and Pint Slice ice cream collections, a press release announced.
- The carnival featured ice cream-inspired games, a photo booth, an oversized swing ride and music provided by the local record store Amoeba Music. Event-goers also had the chance to sample the new ice cream bar flavors, such as Cherry Garcia, Tonight Dough and Coffee, Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz.
- The company additionally unveiled three new flavors in its Truffle Pint line: Chocolate Shake It, Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake and Chillin' the Roast, as well as two new non-dairy flavors, Peanut Butter Half Baked and Cinnamon Buns. All of the new flavors are now available in grocery stores across the country.
With its pop-up carnival, Ben & Jerry's looks to build on its whimsical, fun vibe through an interactive and memorable out-of-home experience. The imagery of ice cream bars, dedicated photo booths and a swing ride all had a highly-visual component that encouraged visitors to snap photos and selfies of themselves at the event and share that content on social media, driving online awareness and reach for Ben & Jerry's new products and the brand as a whole.
Experiential OOH marketing efforts like this, where flashy real-world elements are designed for the social media-minded, seemed to really take off last year. Snapchat took a similar approach to Ben & Jerry's at the Cannes Lions advertising festival in June with a Ferris wheel branded with its ghost logo and painted in the app's canary-yellow hue. The ride came equipped with SnapCodes — the company's take on QR codes — that unlocked themed virtual lenses specific to the event. As consumers become increasingly fatigued by traditional digital ads, and as younger demographic groups like millennials favor experiences over products, this strategy is becoming a winning one, with marketers leveraging high-traffic areas like LA or New York City to optimize experiential events.
Ben & Jerry's has recently used other interactive efforts to drive social media engagement. To promote its partnership with comedian Jimmy Fallon on a new flavor, Marshmallow Moon, the brand developed an augmented reality filter on Facebook where users could virtually catch marshmallows in their mouths and take photos with digital eyeglasses and ice cream cones overlaid on live selfies.