Famous for inspired ice cream flavors like “Cherry Garcia” and “AmeriCone Dream,” Ben and Jerry's is looking for new inspiration.
The "City Churned" campaign kicks off in five markets: Washington, D.C., San Francisco, New York, Portland and Seattle. Each market will have its own microsite that will track real-time votes from the motions and residents of each market. Over the course of several weeks, Ben & Jerry's will tabulate the activities of each city by means of public transportation, tweets, traffic, landmarks, and of course its people, to create and name its own city-inspired Ben & Jerry's flavor.
"Name a city and you feel a pulse that is individual to that hub. There's a personality to each location that is distinctive unto itself... Some would say "a flavor," said Dave Stever, Director of Marketing. "We're going to give our fans something we've never given them before: a chance to mix up an ice cream as unique as that city's own flavor," Stever added.
For example, in D.C. Ben & Jerry's filmed and tracked city joggers to help decide between the ingredients peppermint and marshmallow. Northbound jogging traffic along the Potomac became votes for marshmallow, while southbound joggers counted as votes for peppermint. In New York, on-time subway trains will count as votes for either waffle cone pieces or Spoonable Caramel, depending on the subway line. In Seattle, support for Fairtrade Chocolate or Fairtrade Vanilla will, in part, be determined by the number of plaid vs. plain shirts filmed on city streets.
Fans who aren't present at the filming locations can also weigh in on each ingredient match-up by voting online on the "City Churned" microsite. They can also put their creativity to the test by submitting their original ideas for the flavor name. In each market, the campaign will conclude with a community event where for one day only the flavor will be tasted and celebrated by the local fans that helped develop it.