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July 1, 2011

Caught in a social media frenzy: The Ben and Jerry’s 60,000 Pint Tub Giveaway

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After counting down the days for what seemed like forever, the event was finally upon us. Yes, I’m talking about the Ben and Jerry’s ‘Biggest Pint Tub Grab’ in Sydney.

Announced via the Ben and Jerry’s Australia Facebook page on Monday 27th June, the 60,000 pint giveaway involves showing up to Central Station, donating a gold coin (all proceeds go to charity) and grabbing as many ice cream pints as you can carry between the hours of 12-7pm.

Free ice cream complete with a pat on the back for your charitable deed? After assessing the situation in detail it was unanimous: we’d be stupid not to attend.

So, armed with nothing but our hopes, dreams, gold coins and the naivety of youth, we boarded the train to Central at approximately 11.46am.

The social media madness that we were met with on arrival certainly crushed those hopes and dreams (and made us feel mighty silly for spending a whole $4.40 on train tickets).

Of course, in the end, it was far too good to be true and we walked back to the train station with hunched shoulders and an air of cynicism about us (to replace the hopes, dreams and naivety that we had earlier).

Was the Pint Tub Giveaway a social media success?

Despite the bitter aftertaste of our rather epic fail, I couldn’t disagree that it was an impressively large crowd to draw purely from a couple of status updates on Facebook.

Why it was a success:

  • All proceeds are going to OzHarvest, a charitable organisation that uses excess food donated by restaurants to feed people in need.
  • A huge amount of people are going to be eating Ben and Jerry’s ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next week. You can’t argue with brand exposure like that!
  • Even if you didn’t head down for some free ice cream, you’ll still hear about it online or from annoying colleagues, family and friends who managed to get their hands on some.
  • Taking into account that Ben and Jerry’s is not as well known in Australia as it is in the US and UK, this is valuable exposure to people who might not know how amazing it tastes. Finally they’ll know why it’s so much more expensive than the other ice creams at the supermarket.

I guess the only negative was that there simply isn’t enough time in a lunch break for this kind of activity, not to mention that it isn’t really “free” ice cream if you consider transport fare and cost of your time. But at least we can say that we’ve grown a little wiser and have come away richer for the experience (maybe).

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