Instagram 'Hugely Effective' for Ben & Jerry's - eMarketer
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Instagram 'Hugely Effective' for Ben & Jerry's


Kate Paine
Digital Marketing Manager
Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry’s was the second brand to advertise on Instagram, and it has seen the evolution of the paid side of the platform. Kate Paine, digital marketing manager at the ice cream–maker, spoke with eMarketer’s Maria Minsker about what makes Instagram effective and how it stacks up against Snapchat.

eMarketer: What has Ben & Jerry’s approach to Instagram advertising been so far?

Kate Paine: We have a strong Instagram presence. It’s a great, organic platform, and as far as food businesses go on Instagram, it’s a natural brand fit. We tried Instagram advertising when it first debuted, but took a break for a while because it didn’t have all of the targeting and sophistication that we needed. When it was bridged across the same ad platform as Facebook, [we came back.] It has been hugely effective for us.

eMarketer: Does Instagram provide enough analytics for advertisers?

Paine: From a paid standpoint, I’m pleased with measurement on Instagram. It arms me with the information I need to move campaigns forward. I’m primarily interested in total impressions, reach and how many people click on ads. I want to know the viewthrough rate, how many “likes” something got, the level of engagement and the CPM. I’m able to get all of those insights from Instagram.

“Video has worked really well for us. The interesting thing is that we’ve seen a higher engagement rate for videos on Instagram than on Facebook.”

eMarketer: Have you experimented with the call-to-action buttons on Instagram?

Paine: We have tested them. In general, people aren’t used to clicking on Instagram, so we get much lower clickthrough rates than we would on another platform. But they’re still a great opportunity to have. There are times when the objective is to drive consumers to something, but it doesn’t make sense [for] Instagram, because Instagram hasn’t caught up in driving that user behavior.

eMarketer: What’s your take on the different ad formats available?

Paine: Video has worked really well for us. The interesting thing is that we’ve seen a higher engagement rate for videos on Instagram than on Facebook. Cinemagraphs work pretty well for us too. As for carousel ads, I’m intrigued but I’m not in love with them because they’re a niche piece of creative that works for a sequential ad. People get click fatigue, though, so by the time they get through to the third panel in a carousel, they don’t want any more.

eMarketer: Have you used Snapchat for advertising? How has that experience been?

Paine: We don’t run ads on Snapchat, but we do use branded geofilters. It has been spotty so far. On Free Cone Day, when we had masses of people coming into our stores, we used a Snapchat filter. It was fantastic because people were standing in line, snapping like crazy and using our filter.

It was a slam dunk, but the buying process was incredibly difficult. The platform is not set up well for brands. Brands can buy a national filter, but those are expensive, so we wanted to just buy geofilters around our stores. To do that, we had to geofence every single location and run a separate transaction for each one.

eMarketer: Should Instagram feel threatened by Snapchat?

Paine: Snapchat is the new kid on the block. They’re growing and are now offering advertising in an aggressive way. There’s plenty of reason to be threatened by Snapchat if you’re Instagram, but in the end both will survive and serve different purposes.

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