The American Family Association is at it again, and this time it is starting a battle with ice cream. As most of us may have seen, Ben & Jerry's created a line of ice cream called Schweddy Balls, based off Alec Baldwin's Saturday Night Live NPR character, Mr. Schweddy.
See the delightful clip here:
AdWeek's Tim Nudd reports that the AFA wrote on OneMillionMoms.com announcing its displeasure with Ben & Jerry's actions and called for people to write the public relations manager to ask that they refrain from such "distasteful" lines again. It should be noted that earlier the ice cream company created a line called Hubby Hubby, creating awareness for same-sex marriages.
What the AFA doesn't seem to realize is that by bringing up its "outrage" at Ben & Jerry's, it keeps Schweddy Balls in the limelight. The AFA is proudly showing Ben & Jerry's Schweddy Balls to an audience that probably didn't know it existed. Also, by being so rigid and so easily offended, it is emboldening the opposite side of the spectrum to consume more Schweddy Balls. Heck, just writing Schweddy Balls is pretty amusing.
In a world where brands are caving under pressure, it is tough for advertisers and marketers to create messages and campaigns that represent a cause; an identity for the brands they represent. The activities that Ben & Jerry's are involved in, and the disgust they are generating from the American Family Association, shows that they are doing something right. Well played, Ben & Jerry's.
As for the American Family Association, I truly hope you realized you generated the response they wanted. Plus, the families who buy Ben & Jerry's probably know the Schweddy Balls joke, and if their children stumble upon it, they are good enough parents to explain the issue instead of hiding it from them. Simmer down.
As Leo Bogart once said, "In my opinion, fun is what makes advertising successful."