Radio's Immediacy Serves Up 'Reminders' for Ben & Jerry's

"Radio is immediate, and, with our product, every minute of every summer day is a good time to remind people how good Ben & Jerry's ice cream is." That's one of the reasons Radio was the ideal medium when Ben & Jerry's decided to launch a summer ad campaign targeting 18-34-year-olds with a dual message, according to Bob Ellis, director of client service at Black Rocket Euro RSCG, B&J's San Francisco-based agency.
In addition to immediacy, Ellis says, "Radio has broad reach and affordable, targeted frequency versus other local media." The medium also enables Ben & Jerry's to remind young listeners that "we're as devoted to their community as we are committed to making the best ice cream. We're hitting on both cylinders, so, naturally, drivetime Radio made a whole lot of sense."

"Research," he continues, "shows that this group [18-34] is a frequent purchaser of premium ice cream products, yet has little brand loyalty. This seemed like an opportunity for us to try to bring them into our core with some new flavors that skew slightly younger such as Kaberry Kaboom with Pop Rocks and Concession Obsession."
In order to transmit this double-sided message in a way listeners could relate, Black Rocket created the "freezer fairies", characters that probably would not have worked in any other medium. "The freezer fairies," explains Ellis, "are mysterious and magic. Fact is, there is a freezer fairy in all of us, so Radio is the most democratic medium in the sense that it can empower us all. A visual medium would provide a more tangible and, thus, limiting, frame of reference. Radio gives us the best opportunity to introduce the freezer fairies, establish local relevance and tie in local retail locations as well as local community service projects."
Results for the campaign will be measured, rationally, by traffic in scoop shops and sales at participating retailers; an emotional measurement will be the freezer fairies' ability to increase "random acts of kindness." The latter seems already to be happening. "If the number of letters we've received nominating nice people to be ‘deputy freezer fairies' is any indication," says Ellis, "the campaign is a hit in local communities." The Radio advertising, which began Memorial Day and runs through Labor Day, is airing in several major markets, including New York, on stations that target the 18-34 demo. "