Ben & Jerry's Develops New Instagram Flavor...Local Fame

Window-CleanerWhile most brands and mobile companies scramble to leverage the location-based strengths of mobile marketing, Ben & Jerry’s, as usual, is developing a new flavor of LoMo. In an inspired campaign involving Instagram, it is drafting on its brand loyalists’ love of recording their ice cream passion using the Instagram app. The company has over 123,000 followers on the image-sharing network already. But the #CaptureEuphoria programgoes local in an interesting way.

Ben & Jerry's lovers are encouraged to create images related to their ice cream passion and upload to their Instagram accounts with the #CaptureEuphoria tag. They are immediately entered into a contest that will put their images into local advertising. As their demo shows, they already surprised a loyal customer by putting her and her Instagram image on the back cover of a local city magazine. Others may show up on neighborhood billboards.

This is a deft campaign that reminds us of the obvious. Local is not just about “targeting.” It is also about the brand being local, finding ways to use the technology to become a part of the local reality in which all of us live. People do still live in neighborhoods and think of themselves within a certain context. So far as I can tell from the entry details, the only winnings this program offers customers would be local fame. And that is no small thing. Who doesn't tell all of their friends that their name appeared in the local dead tree-and-ink newspaper? Or who doesn't tape the local TV news episode when a reporter sticks a mic in their face for comment? Local reputation is the reputation that all of us occupy.

And we love how in its video description of the program, Ben & Jerry's even acknowledges there is somethign slightly fun/creepy about having your Instagram image plastered around where you live. The first subject, Megan, is taken aback by appearing on the back of her lcoal magazine. What a cool way for the brand to embrace the unanticipated weirdness of using UGC in advertising and telegraphing to entrants what may be ahead for them. 

Equally interesting is how in its illustrations of the program, Ben & Jerry’s use some of the oldest of analog media to broadcast the Instagram images -- magazine advertising and billboards. This marriage of global social network with location, digital user-generated content with analog reach really is inspired.   

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