Why Ben & Jerry's 4/20 'cannabis day' wink to Apple is a bit of a damp spliff

Social video experts Be On review the latest viral by Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry’s miss the mark with its new ad

4/20 – a key date in any pot-smokers' diary and the unofficial day for celebrating marijuana in the US. Piggy backing off this occasion, ice cream legends Ben & Jerry’s, have created a 40-second parody of Apple's 1984 Macintosh ad to make the occasion even more surreal.

While a younger generation might appreciate Ben & Jerry’s nod to 4/20, the Macintosh reference is lost on them. 5/10

The ad introduces a unique ice cream/waffle hybrid, positioning Ben & Jerry’s as a company always seeking to create exciting new flavours.

Ben & Jerry’s are just one of many global brands to take a slice of the 4/20 pie, battling it out across social media and online video to create the ultimate celebration snack.

Conflicted demographic

While Ben & Jerry’s excel in merging food categories with the BRRR-ito, the ad highlights an overall conflict in their demographic and raises questions around whether brands should participate in celebrating something that’s illegal in many states and countries still.

Ben & Jerry’s has always been a playful and irreverent brand and can take a light-hearted and liberal approach to pot smoking.

This campaign isn’t surprising considering founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield recently said in a HuffPost Live interview they would consider making cannabis flavoured ice cream.

The ad highlights the challenge the brand faces between a family audience and the younger, more liberal consumer they’re clearly trying to reach. Whilst a younger generation might appreciate Ben & Jerry’s nod to 4:20, the Macintosh reference is lost on them.

‘Introducing The BRRR-ito!’ therefore comes across as obscure and might explain why the ad has only generated less than 300,000 views since launching on April 16th and just 1,000 shares on Facebook. This is a prime example of the importance of knowing your audience if a video is to achieve viral success.



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