Ben & Jerry's CBD ice cream - PR stunt?
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Creative Campaigns #14 – Ben & Jerrys’ ‘CBD Ice Cream’

Usually, pulling off a ‘PR gag’ takes a great deal of effort.

From the ideation stage right through to the actual execution – there’s a lot of effort that goes into generating that publicity. However, it’s not always the work that goes into a campaign, but rather the imagination and of course – the creativity behind it. And for that reason is exactly why Ben & Jerry’s have just landed themselves global coverage without actually really doing anything at all.

Speeding Up The ‘Munchies’ Process With Cannabis Ice Cream

Introducing, CBD ice cream. Weed ice cream. Yep, you heard it right.

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That’s what Ben & Jerry’s have pledged to introduce as a flavour. As soon as CBD becomes legal over in the states, that is.

At the present time, the U.S Food and Drug Administration prohibits the use of CBD in any food or drink. But all that may be set to change today (on the 31st May, 2019). A public hearing is being held and according to 3News Las Vegas, Ben & Jerry’s have submitted a comment to be considered. 

“We’re doing this for our fans. We’ve listened and brought them everything from non-dairy indulgences to on-the-go portions with our Pint Slices. We aspire to love our fans more than they love us and we want to give them what they’re looking for in a fun, Ben & Jerry’s way.” – Ben & Jerry’s CEO, Matthew McCarthy.

In their official ‘CBD statement‘ on their website, Ben & Jerry’s write: “you probably already know that we’re fans of all things groovy — think: Half Baked and Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies. So it’s no surprise that we can’t wait to get into the latest food trend: cannabidiol, or CBD. We are committed to bringing CBD-infused ice cream to your freezer as soon as it’s legalized at the federal level.”

And from what I can see at the moment, it’s been met with nothing but a good reception from fans and onlookers alike.

But Is This A PR Stunt, Or Genuine?

CBD is a huge trend at the moment, it’s always in the news. Knowing this, I believe Ben & Jerry’s scouted an opportunity and capitalised on it. And to be honest, who can blame them?

The story has already made its way overseas to our national press, as well as being covered nationwide in the states too. Why? Because it’s newsworthy.

So for the reason above (that CBD is a huge trend and people love to talk about it) and also for the reason that it’s bold, unapologetic and quirky – Ben & Jerry’s have struck a goldmine. There are no other big brands doing this.

I kinda love that Ben & Jerry’s have been totally impenitent, and haven’t shied away from the CBD trend but have rather embraced it. Because let’s be honest, though it’s becoming more and more accepted globally, cannabis is still a massively taboo subject. I sincerely believe that most brands wouldn’t be brave enough to be so brass about cannabidiol and cannabis – but it’s the ones that are (such as Ben & Jerry’s), are the ones that really reap the benefits of widespread publicity.

But is this just a PR gag to generate attention, do they ever really plan to see it through? Honestly, I can’t say for sure at the minute. But knowing the brand and knowing their previous intrepid stoner-related products (such as the notorious Half Baked flavour), I don’t see why they wouldn’t go ahead with this idea. I mean, it’s not the first time they’ve been in the press for their callous approach to the class-C drug either, so it’s not exactly something they’d be likely to be timid about.

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The so-called ‘CBD ice cream’ already been greatly received by the public, and they haven’t even done anything yet bar create a design and put the idea forward. I think if they were to go ahead and put the product to production, there wouldn’t be as many naysayers as there would supporters.

And plus, who can argue with the certain publicy they’d get (again) if they followed through with their promise? They’d be mad not to now.

What do you think of B&J’s latest product? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter.

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