’Eating ice-cream is all about having fun,’ Helen Jones, general
manager, UK sales and marketing for Ben & Jerry’s, says. ’We want to
provide an antidote to the seriousness of our rivals.’ We know who Jones
is alluding to, although she points out that the luxury ice-cream market
has become increasingly competitive since a flood of own-label products
arrived on supermarket shelves during the past couple of years.
With tongue-in-cheek flavour names like Chunky Monkey and Cherry Garcia
- and a company ’social policy’ which ploughs back 7.5 per cent of
pre-tax profits into its local community in Vermont - Ben & Jerry’s has
never exactly run with the crowd.
Quirky humour takes centre stage in the new print campaign through
Renegade for the right-on ice-cream. Apart from a ’short but sweet’
radio campaign which ran last year, it’s the first substantial
above-the-line push for Ben & Jerry’s, which has been available in this
country for four years and has attracted a growing following among
’It’s a rich brand with great values,’ Jones confirms. ’Renegade hit the
nail on the head. The campaign (which features cartoon versions of the
hippie founders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield) is simple and has
impact.’ Animated cinema commercials may follow.
Jones joined the company three-and-a-half years ago from the IDV-owned
Callitheke, where she developed a range of drinks brands, including Aqua
Libra. ’They are very different companies,’ she admits, ’although they
are both involved in the premium-branded business.’ Jones’s career began
in sales, progressed through business development and trade marketing to
the broader role she enjoys today. She heads a four-strong UK operation
based in Hemel Hempstead, although she held the fort alone for her first
six months in the role.
’My husband says I’m obsessed with the job,’ Jones, a mother of three,
explains. ’You have to be - we’re up against big-spending brands and
have to make ourselves heard.’