With all the hype trending around the release of the Nike Air Mags that Marty McFly wore in “Back to The Future II” after a 23 year wait, you might not have caught another viral product announced at the same time: Ben & Jerry’s “Schweddy Balls”. This new flavour from Ben & Jerry’s, like with the Nike Air Mags, have come from fantasy to reality. If you’re not familiar with the Saturday Night Live skit Schweddy Balls is based on, check out the video below.
This combination of vanilla ice cream with a hint of rum with fudge covered rum and malt balls is another stellar example of viral marketing that was practically competing with the Nike Air Mags on Twitter. This limited edition flavour was able to virally leverage the SNL Schweddy Balls meme to completely cover all marketing costs.
Twitpic Credit: @cherrygarcia
Let’s look at the social data from Topsy.com for the three days since Schweddy Balls was first mentioned. The original article by Time announcing Schweddy Balls has been Facebook liked 867 times and Facebook shared a staggering 42k times. It has had 4560 direct tweets, 245 Diggs, 54 Stumbles and 74 +1’s. The link has also racked up 4,457 social mentions. Ben & Jerry’s official Twitter account, @cherrygarcia, tweet linking to their Schweddy Balls page on their site received 1,899 retweets. The now famous fake family name “Schweddy” has 7,768 social mentions 7,768. Alec Baldwin (@alecbaldwin) has a massive following of 330,766 and his tweet of the Times post received 505 tweets plus 19 influential tweets alone.
Imagine the ROI of promoting a new flavor of ice cream through traditional channels like banner, print or TV ads, compared to inbound marketing tactics like blogs and social networks, and you just can imagine the money saved. All it took was a clever idea and the balls to actually put it into action. Yep, had to throw in a balls joke somewhere.
Like with my previous post on the viral marketing hit of the Nike Air Mags, Schweddy Balls stands a premium example of successful viral marketing and leveraging inbound marketing. What was great about Marty McFly’s Nike sneakers was the proceeds go to support the Michael J. Fox Foundation. I think it would have been a smart and funny PR move by Ben & Jerry to have proceeds of the limited release of Schweddy Balls went to support prostate cancer, which gets much less attention than breast cancer but affects just as many men. Too bad they didn’t aim to do some social good like Nike, but both reap the benefits of viral brand building, which resonates in today’s marketplace so much stronger than traditional ads or commercials.
Follow me on Twitter:@S_Gerard