Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day is about thanking fans every year via free ice cream but to keep growing relevance in pop culture B&J needed to evolve excitement of the day beyond ice cream alone.
Create awareness and excitement.
Drive trial of B&J ice cream.
Ben and Jerry’s Free Cone Day (FCD) is the day thousands of ice cream cones are given away FOR FREE from multiple stores all over Australia.
We all love free stuff, especially free ice cream, but as more and more brands activate with events it had become harder to keep crowds growing.
For most FCD is about that moment you receive your scoop, and the first lick. But all that effort finding a B&J store, joining the line and then receiving your scoop was limiting our growth of FCD in recent years.
We needed to show people B&J FCD is bigger than the scoops alone. It’s a full-blown experience.
To effectively bring the idea of B&J FCD experience to life we needed to understand,
- Who is most likely to be available to attend?
- What drives people to FCD beyond the ice cream that we can leverage?
Targeting the right attendees became crucial.
Everyone loves free ice cream but CCTV footage uncovered that groups of students were the perfect attendees; not only do they love a freebie but they also have free time between or after classes.
Through analysing past years social engagement, we discovered that people didn’t care as much about which ice cream they were getting but instead who they were enjoying it with.
The key insight to drawing in these ice cream loving students was to make the experience of joining the line with your friends appear as fun and enjoyable as the ice cream itself.
Our strategy was to eventize the whole experience by creating FOMO (fear of missing out) around the whole process of collecting free ice cream… even the queue.
One thing that Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day hero’s is fun in all elements. From loud music to people dancing in cow costumes, once your down at a Ben & Jerry’s scoop store it’s hard not to smile. We needed to dramatise this feeling on Free Cone Day and give people a reason other than the ice cream to visit a Ben and Jerrys store.
We had to target students with actual live footage of people enjoying their time at the Ben and Jerrys store happening near by to create the FOMO needed for them to come and join in the fun. The aim was to trigger spontaneous attendance of groups of students across the country.
To eventise the whole experience for those not down at FCD yet we formed a three-way partnership to create a real time social lead content campaign
- Content: Partnering with three of Pedestrian.TV’s most hilarious content creators hosts from 3 of the biggest B&J stores in NSW, QLD and VIC. No scripts necessary.
Their role was to entertain the crowd, show off the fun of FCD.
- Contextual Amplification: In a market first, we overtook university screens positioned in bars, study halls and lunch areas with our Facebook live stream showing our Pedestrian hosts entertaining the crowds.
Their role was to reach groups of friends and spark spontaneity to attend.
- Social Amplification: We partnered with Facebook on a beta product called Facebook Live Accelerator, allowing us to broadcast our content to over 600k ice cream lovers in the area in 60 minutes.
Their role was to rapidly reach young people in the area who were checking Facebook that day, so ever young person basically.
On an idle Tuesday afternoon we sparked a whole new way of seeing Free Cone Day. Pedestrian.TV hosts worked the queues with zany competitions and ice-cream-related games.
In a live broadcast like no one anticipated, there was squeals of laughter as some got ice cream coated, others cheered as tubs of free ice cream flowed down queues. One lucky man drove for 45minutes to win a car-full of ice cream after seeing us on Facebook.
We were unmissable, and completely irresistible to attend.