Ben & Jerry’s Gets Right What Pepsi Got Wrong

Brand authenticity is what matters.

A screenshot from Pepsi’s “Live For Now Moments Anthem”

Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad is a masterclass for brands on how not to engage with social causes.

The clapback was fast and furious.

Unfortunately, some brands may take the wrong message from the pushback on Pepsi’s attempt to co-opt the Black Lives Matter movement to sell soda. The problem isn’t that Pepsi took a stand on a social issue. The problem is the ad is crass and inauthentic because it is out of sync with Pepsi’s brand image.

Thank goodness there’s Ben & Jerry’s to show brands how to do it right the way.

Ben & Jerry’s recently made a strong statement in favor of the freedom to marry in Australia.

“We are banning two scoops of the same flavor and encouraging our fans to contact their MPs to tell them that the time has come — make same sex marriage legal! Love comes in all flavours!”

The company is also equipping it’s stores with postcards in favor of marriage equality that customers can fill out and send to MPs.

This follows the company’s strong support for marriage equality in the United States.

This approach works for Ben & Jerry’s because it’s a reflection of the company’s values and because they have a history of making their views known on issues like climate change and GMO labeling. The company’s outspokenness has become a reason it’s fans love the brand.

Taking positions on social causes can build loyalty among millennial consumers, but only if it’s authentic. Pepsi’s ad was not whereas Ben & Jerry’s latest stance on Australian marriage equality is.