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Innovation of the Day: On EU election day, Ben & Jerry's will swap Dutch voting pencils for ice cream

Summary: Ben & Jerry's is launching an initiative in the Netherlands to increase voter turnout among young people during the upcoming European elections. Despite a slight increase in turnout in the previous election, only 42% of voters aged 24 and under participated, with the Netherlands reporting an even lower figure of 35%. To combat declining voter participation, Ben & Jerry's will offer free ice cream to Dutch citizens who cast their ballots. They can trade their red voting pencils for ice cream at six locations across the country. Additionally, individuals can confirm their intention to vote beforehand and receive a reminder from Ben & Jerry's, ensuring they follow through on Election Day. Even those unable to obtain a red pencil can still redeem free ice cream by showing the confirmation email.

Key Takeaway: The initiative aims to address declining voter participation, particularly among young people, by incentivizing them to engage in the democratic process through a sweet reward.

Trend: This initiative reflects a growing trend of brands taking proactive steps to promote civic engagement and social responsibility, aligning their values with broader societal issues.

Conclusions: Ben & Jerry's initiative highlights the importance of innovative approaches to encourage voter turnout and foster a more engaged citizenry. By leveraging their brand platform, they are not only promoting participation in elections but also raising awareness about democratic principles.

Implications for Brands: Brands can play a significant role in driving social change by using their influence and resources to address pressing issues like voter apathy. Initiatives like Ben & Jerry's can enhance brand reputation and loyalty while making a positive impact on society. It underscores the potential for brands to go beyond traditional marketing strategies and actively contribute to meaningful causes.

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