The key feature of the social networking application Twitter is its rigid enforcement of a 140-character limit per tweet. While the limit has forced many to rediscover the virtues of brevity in their online communications, not every tweet uses all its available space. Ben & Jerry’s recently launched an app to make use of those cast-aside characters to raise awareness for World Fair Trade Day, which took place on May 14.
With the help of its ad agency, New York–based Amalgamated (whose founding partner Charles Rosen is a Canadian expat), the brand set up the website FairTweets.com. Once you signed up, messages automatically appended themselves to your tweets, using up whatever characters you hadn’t for fair-trade-friendly hashtags such as “support #FairTrade” or “#WorldFairTradeDay,” as well as embedding links to articles and sites on the fair-trade movement.
Given the company’s crunchy Vermont roots, it should not come as much of a surprise that Ben & Jerry’s would use Twitter to support a cause promoting sustainability and fair treatment of food producers. A huge part of Ben & Jerry’s brand strength has come from its status as an innovator in the field of corporate social responsibility, combining philanthropy, environmentalism and social activism. Pass us the #ChunkyMonkey.