Ben & Jerry’s, the US premium ice-cream brand, is positioning
itself as the self-deprecating alternative to its sophisticated rival,
Haagen-Dazs, in its first major ad campaign in Britain.
Cartoon images of the company’s eponymous founders cracking jokes will
carry the company’s ’antidote to seriousness’ message in a press and
poster campaign breaking on 1 June.
Renegade, the agency set up last year to combine advertising and PR,
produced the pounds 500,000 campaign, its first since picking up the
account (Campaign, 3 April). Media is being bought by New PHD.
Sue Aitken, Renegade’s managing partner, said: ’Our aim is to ensure Ben
& Jerry’s differentiates itself from Haagen-Dazs. We’re positioning Ben
& Jerry’s as fun.’
The ads, produced under the direction of Alan Midgley, Renegade’s
creative partner, will run on 48- and six-sheet poster sites throughout
London and the South-east as well as in the Independent, the Guardian
and Time Out.
The campaign will coincide with an Internet competition in which
entrants will be asked to submit their own Ben & Jerry jokes. The winner
will have their work displayed on a 48-sheet poster and win their own
weight in ice-cream.
The advertising marks a significant departure for the brand in the UK,
where it had been building its reputation by word of mouth and on the
back of PR generated from its environmental activism.
Today, however, it faces intensified competition from own-label rivals
and major multiples have insisted that, without marketing support, the
brand will not get space in freezer cabinets. Sainsbury’s recently
agreed to take Ben & Jerry’s products again, having previously de-listed