Schweddy Balls – Clever Marketing or Comedic Failure?
I’m not sure what most of you think of when you hear the phrase “schweddy balls”, but I know that for me, it’s not ice cream, let alone “Fair Trade vanilla ice cream with a hint of rum that’s loaded with fudge covered rum and milk chocolate malt balls.” That’s the official description of Ben and Jerry’s latest limited flavor and I think it sounds…well – less than schweddy.
I’m not sure what the marketing team over at Ben and Jerry’s was thinking really. I can’t imagine anyone’s palates salivating or digesting anything described as ‘sweaty’ or any variation thereof. According to the company’s website, the new flavor is meant to be an ode to a Saturday Night Live skit which includes the recently-in-headlines Alec Baldwin (the skit can also be seen on the Ben & Jerry’s website).
The skit, I admit, is pretty hilarious – I won’t spoil it for you so you’ll just have to see for yourself, but I think what made the skit so funny is that it was clearly a parody on Holiday treats. The folks over at SNL clearly weren’t going to go out and try to sell someone some popcorn or fudge Schweddy balls. With this in mind, it’s interesting that a dessert production company would name their product after an unpleasant human attribute. Kind of makes you wonder how Fuzzy Navels are so popular…
Apparently supermarkets in the U.S. did
in’t find it that appetizing. CBS news reports that several major grocery stores across the country have pulled all Schweddy Balls off their shelves, citing issues with vulgarity. Much of this comes from the pressure from watchdog groups like the One Million Moms who created a petition to try to get the latest B & J flavor banned. One Million Moms is an offshoot of the American Family Association, an organization whose public abhorrence of the B&J flavor actually seemed to help fuel its popularity.
The more I think about it however, the more I am inclined to think that perhaps this was a brilliant marketing campaign. It got thousands of us talking and spreading the word about the brand. After all, Scwheddy Balls is Ben & Jerry’s most popular limited flavor of all time with millions flocking to get their taste.
What do you think? Are you dying to get your serving of Schweddy Balls? Maybe the idea has to marinate a bit…mentally that is.