In recent weeks many brands have announced support for the Black Lives Matter movement, but Ben & Jerry’s vehement, assertive statement stands out from the crowd.
Ben & Jerry’s released a powerful call to action, titled “Silence is NOT an Option”, including a graphic stating “dismantle white supremacy” to rally fans. The brand’s declaration arrives in the midst of nationwide protests and includes a four-step anti-racism plan and a reaffirmation of its stance against police brutality. The company also incorporated political steps it would like to see taken, such as legislation to be passed by Congress and actions to be considered by the Department of Justice. Ben & Jerry’s published the statement on its website and social media channels, where its blunt terminology quickly gained traction, with 320,000 likes on Twitter alone.
Ben & Jerry’s statement stands out from the sea of corporate messaging not only for its strong stance, but because of the length and detail included. Dozens of brands, from Nike to L’Oreal have shared support for Black Lives Matter this month, but many brands strayed away from delivering as direct and outspoken a statement as Ben & Jerry’s, which has a history of being politically active. Ben & Jerry’s has vocalized its support for many issues in the past, including gun control, women’s rights, climate change, and marriage equality. The ice cream brand also creates recipes and flavors in support of social issues, which could help it raise awareness for causes and support sales, according to a Gartner report on the topic. In 2018, for example, the brand released “Pecan Resist”, a flavor dedicated to working towards a more inclusive society, with a focus on LGBTQ, refugee, and racial rights. This past September it churned out, “Justice Remix’d”, an ice cream flavor meant to lobby for criminal justice reform.
While other brands are getting political for the first time, Ben & Jerry’s is taking a routine stance in support of social justice. The brand’s recipe for social reform is one fans have tasted before, but as the public looks for brands taking action following protests, Ben & Jerry’s statement serves as a solid example of creative marketing for a cause.