Most of the truck’s stops were determined by requests that came in to the @BenJerrysTruck Twitter account. Gigunda account coordinator Alex Miniak said along with considering geographical feasibility, they looked for requests that came from “influencers who have a lot of followers and could retweet us.” The company was able to respond to requests in a matter of minutes, and often could send the truck to the requested locations that same day, handing out anywhere from 50 to 500 samples of ice cream at each stop.
In addition to requested stops, the truck also made appearances at Miami retailers and community events during the six-week tour. At each stop, the brand ambassadors in the truck announced their location through geotargeted status updates on Facebook and also Foursquare check-ins, which were linked to the tour’s Twitter account. The company also uploaded photos of the daily giveaways to its Flickr photo stream and encouraged fans to do the same. Edelman Digital managed the social media integration of the tour.
“We can push out photos to say, “Look at this happy person with our ice cream,' but when it comes from their peers, it’s much more valuable,” said Curley.
The Miami truck has now moved on to New York and in August will head to Boston. Those are the two cities where Ben & Jerry’s debuted the sampling-on-demand concept last summer in celebration of the 25th anniversary of New York Super Fudge Chunk. Curley said consumer response was much better than expected, prompting them to add Miami to the East Coast tour and also to create a second scoop truck that visited Los Angeles and is now in San Francisco.
Last year’s two-city tour resulted in 28 million impressions in traditional media and more than 15 million through Twitter.