Is Ben & Jerry’s Political Stance Risky or Necessary?

Take one look at your Twitter feed or BuzzSumo’s Trending feeds and you’ll see that politics is everywhere. People are naturally drawn to political topics, which spark passionate discussion and debate. We’re all talking about politics, so it makes sense that if you make a big political statement, people will talk about that too.

And it pays off. Ben & Jerry’s political stance doesn’t only generate huge amounts of social engagement, it undoubtedly contributes to its status as the top selling ice-cream brand in the US. Putting their values front and center has given them a loyal following, both when engaging with their content and buying their products.

L’Oreal tries to embrace politics… and fails

Beware: jumping on the political bandwagon without real commitment to the cause is dangerous territory. L’Oreal’s Instagram post that read “Speaking out is worth it” in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests in spring 2020 led to a major backlash, with former representative Munroe Bergdorf accusing them of hypocrisy after the firm dropped Bergdorf in 2017 due to comments the model made on social media in reaction to violence in Charlottesville. L’Oreal have come to terms with Bergdorf, and she has now joined the company’s UK diversity and inclusion advisory board, but many other companies have also fallen into the same trap and received their fair share of criticism.

The success of Ben & Jerry’s politics is hinged on authenticity

For Ben & Jerry’s, their content this year follows on from their long history of supporting many progressive political campaigns, such as Marriage Equality – including releasing limited edition flavors such as Hubby Hubby and Apple-y Ever After – and Climate Justice. Being political isn’t new for them, in fact it’s as much a part of the DNA of Ben & Jerry’s as ice-cream is.

And today, it’s not just their values sitting proudly on the nav – their whole above the fold homepage is dedicated to their statement about wanting America to become an anti-racist country.

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