Ben & Jerry’s launches ice cream into stratosphere for Netflix tie-in

Dive Brief:

  • Unilever subsidiary Ben & Jerry’s is extending its partnership with Netflix via a new ice cream flavor called Boots on the Moooo’n, the company revealed in a press release.
  • The release of the limited-edition flavor is timed to the premiere of the new Netflix comedy series, “Space Force,” which hits the streaming service on Friday, May 29. Actor Jimmy O. Yang stars in the show from Steve Carell and Greg Daniels of “The Office,” and is photographed in the ice cream brand’s ad collateral with a pint of the new flavor.
  • To promote the new flavor, Ben & Jerry’s worked with Netflix to launch a pint 20 miles into the atmosphere and filmed it for a video that appears on YouTube. The chocolate ice cream is designed to look like the universe with toffee clusters and sugar cookie dough.

Dive Insight:

The streaming video wars continue to heat up as the latest high-profile entry HBO Max bows today. With 182.8 million subscribers, including a record 15.7 million new sign-ups in the first quarter, Netflix is the one to beat, making it an attractive partner for brands looking to reach a growing audience of streaming viewers, even though the service isn’t supported with ads. Marketers typically get around the lack of ads with creative product collaborations which they then support with their own ads.

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Unilever brands, in particular, continue to find creative ways to work with Netflix​. Ben & Jerry’s first partnered with Netflix at the beginning of the year with the introduction of the Netflix and Chill’d flavor, a play on the popular phase “Netflix and chill.” In an accompanying ad campaign, the ice cream maker dropped references to popular Netflix shows and promoted it as the ideal treat to watching content on the streaming site.

In February, another Unilever brand, Axe, partnered with the Netflix show “Sex Education” to initiate conversations around dating-related subjects with which teen boys struggle.

The potential for Netflix tie-ins was exemplified during last year’s third season of the original Netflix show “Stranger Things,” which resulted in more than $15 million in advertising value for products featured in the show in the first three days of release. Coca-Cola, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Casio, 7-Eleven, Sharp, Adidas, Pentax, Reebok and Burger King all ran ads nodding to the show even though none of the products that appeared in the show were paid placement.

As competition increases in the streaming space, Boots on the Moooo’n could help Netflix drive awareness for its newest show, which features star actors John Malkovich and Lisa Kudrow alongside comedian-actor Yang.​

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