Social Spotlight: Why creativity is just the cherry on top for Jeni’s Ice Creams
To stand out as a brand on social is a simple process for the viewer: First, something pulls them in visually. Then, they connect to it emotionally. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams’ whimsical, creative and scroll-stopping visual branding manages to capture viewers in both ways at once.
A few things become clear as you peruse Jeni’s social pages: They have a clear point of view, they put their customers before their advertising and they’re not afraid to go all out to tell a story and spark a connection in people’s feeds.
The social experience they create is informed by the work of everyone at Jeni’s. They involve the broader team in everything they execute, so not only is every aspect of their business represented in the final product, making social a collaborative success is ingrained in their culture.
Let’s take a look at some key ways this ice cream brand scoops people’s hearts on social.
1. They take storytelling to a new level
Just like the traditional retail experience, social feeds can become hectic during the holidays. So when brands say it’s important to stand out this time of year, they mean it. Jeni’s pulled out all the creative stops with their 2020 holiday campaign, highlighting the season’s latest flavors with a mixture of whimsical set design and story.
Splendid Holiday (Episode 1) • A Sugar Plum Homecoming pic.twitter.com/ieWWM1NvmX
— Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams (@jenisicecreams) November 18, 2020
These Instagram carousel posts create an immersive experience even through the screen, with pints of Jeni’s dressed in wintery settings. But the creativity doesn’t stop at the image you see. They commit to the story by taking it two steps further with creative writing and audio to deliver a complete holiday package per pint. It’s reminiscent of old-school advertising. Think captivating magazine ads with half a page of scene-setting.
Yes, getting creative for the holidays has helped Jeni’s stand out on social during a chaotic time for people’s feeds. But it’s not just the festive visual that stands out, it’s the complete package they’re delivering. They committed to telling a story and weren’t afraid to create a production from scratch to make the content memorable.
Consider how your team can work more cross-functionally—tapping visual designers or your creative team to amp up your next social initiative. Or for a social team that does it all on their own, consider new tools you can use to visually tell a story and tap into similar feelings from your audience.
2. They foster community over advertising
Jeni’s striking social presence isn’t about building an ice cream empire, it’s about building a two-way conversation with its customers. Rather than ad-forward content, the brand takes a creative-forward approach that results in the community becoming all the advertising they need. Sometimes that’s delivered in the form of reposting user-content, sometimes it’s weaving their customer comments, questions and convos into content.
Another way to do morning ice cream https://t.co/iikjG2bVaD pic.twitter.com/N4tRtcwVkE
— Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams (@jenisicecreams) November 13, 2020
Jeni herself, founder Jeni Britton Bauer, also happens to be vocal on social about the brand’s tight ties to the farms and dairies they source their ingredients from. It’s become part of their brand to use social as a vehicle to be transparent and actively connect growers and consumers in one community.
Putting story first means putting community first. By focusing on people—both behind their brand and in their audience—they’re creating an environment for customers to see themselves in. For Jeni’s and so many other brands in 2020, this social behavior is what helped them thrive through crisis.
Evaluate your current community engagement strategy and seek opportunities to bridge creative content with relationship building.
3. They present a clear point of view
Jeni’s is first and foremost a food brand. But when you’re scrolling through social and stop on an aesthetically pleasing snapshot of someone holding a cone of wildberry lavender ice cream in front of a candy-colored awning, you’re not stopping because of the scoop of ice cream. The brand is visually crafting a lifestyle that you want to fit into.
Pumpkin Cake Roll aka the only pumpkin we’re picking this weekend
📸: @JordanMarieHaas pic.twitter.com/yoiQcCpw3o
— Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams (@jenisicecreams) October 10, 2020
When a brand takes the time to build a world for their audience and their product to exist in, you as a consumer remember that. From feed to frozen aisle, you’re mentally inserting yourself in the chic social moments they curated as you eye your next pint of Jeni’s at the grocery store.
Jeni’s has crafted a clear visual persona that their customers see, adore and emulate in their own lives. As a result, they not only rely on their own curated content, they also have ample opportunities to repost UGC that fits right into their motif.
Your brand has a clear point of view. Invite your audience to be a part of it by caring about the details of the lifestyle you curate for them on social.
Social Spotlight: Drift wins by keeping things personalPublished on March 22, 2021 Reading time 6 minutes
Social Spotlight: How Zendesk became the champions of keeping it humanPublished on March 10, 2021 Reading time 5 minutes
Social Spotlight: How Airbnb kept the lights on when everyone was homePublished on November 16, 2020 Reading time 6 minutes
Social Spotlight: Peloton and how to get your community to speak for itselfPublished on October 1, 2020 Reading time 6 minutes