2017 Winners

Ben & Jerry's On Demand Ice Cream Chat Bot

Ben & Jerry's

Bronze Media Agency of the Year: MindShare Canada

Insight and Idea

Millennial urbanites are needy. They have increasing expectations around the demand for products and services to cater to their lifestyles in a way that makes it easier on them.

With students back on campus and Netflix binging season on the rise, agency Mindshare Canada knew this would be an ideal time for Ben & Jerry’s to connect directly to this generation and make purchasing a pint of ice cream simple and easy.

Millennials also continue to spend more and more time on social media, especially via mobile devices. Based on these two behaviours, a chatbot through Facebook Messenger gave Ben & Jerry’s a unique and new way to offer consumers a way to devour a pint of ice cream.

Media Execution

What’s better than a pint of your favourite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? A pint of your favourite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, delivered to you in less than 30 minutes.

As a company, Unilever’s social buys are usually focused on reach as the primary KPI; however, this e-commerce campaign allowed us to measure real-time conversion to sale.

Based on the target audience of urban millennials with the need for convenience, the creative spoke to aspects like binge watching TV, date night delivered, delivery in 30 minutes or less.

With social being the key media push, ads were placed across both key platforms of Facebook and Instagram, while also using the new messenger ad format and various creative for optimization.


The solution: an Ice Cream chatbot through Facebook Messenger was born, giving Ben & Jerry’s a unique and new way to offer consumers a way to devour a pint of ice cream during their Netflix binges. Consumers would simply log on, pick their favourite pint, track their orders in real-time and interact with Ben & Jerry’s very own Ice Cream gurus while they waited for their curbside delivery in a matter of minutes. Paid media drove top-of-mind awareness during peak munchie time.

A myriad of ad units, copy and image variations and targeting nuances were leveraged during the campaign to help maximize leads. In addition to the traditional direct response vehicles and buying options from Facebook, the team was able to secure participation in a first to market Facebook Messenger ad alpha test. The Messenger units were the perfect ad option to drive this new behaviour in Canada of using a chatbot to interact with brands.

Being a first-to-market Facebook alpha test, means that this interaction between brands and its consumers had never been seen before and consumers were ecstatic to be a part of this first.

The Results

By optimizing media on a daily basis, Ben & Jerry’s was able to sell four times more pints from the start to finish of the campaign, which launched on September 27, 2016.

The paid media cost per lead decreased by 28% over the course of the campaign and the team was able to average a seven-minute delivery time. The fact that they were able to shorten the gap for point of sale direct to consumers, the ice cream bot became the number one retail location without stealing shares all through incremental sales and more importantly, all through media.

Ben & Jerry’s continues on its upward trajectory of year over year double digit growth and Unilever garnered valuable learning to apply to global and local campaigns moving forward.