Bad Marketing: Schweddy Balls Ice Cream

In my opinion, Saturday Night Live stopped being funny a long, long time ago. I especially hated the skit involving Alec Baldwin and his promotion of Schweddy Balls that folks could eat. Why is it that this show so frequently degenerates into bathroom humor and off-color jokes? That’s not funny or creative.

In fact, in yesterday’s edition of the Boston Sunday Globe, there was a feature about comedian Bob Newhart and how he never resorted to scatological humor in his wildly successful decades-long career. He has had staying power by simply being creative and humorous and never reverting to jokes in bad taste. He discussed in the article how he and Jerry Seinfeld never reverted to perverted bathroom humor, and I applaud both of them for it. When you have to resort to bathroom humor, well, in my opinion as a creative copywriter and marketing expert, when you do that you are simply phoning it in. You’re not stepping up to the plate and thinking how to craft a good joke. It takes skill, thought, and talent to write good, clever jokes.

But here’s the kicker.

Ben & Jerry’s recently confirmed that pints of Schweddy Balls ice cream will be sold in grocery freezers in the very near future.

Ben & Jerry’s tweeted: “Some people think our Schweddy Balls flavor is a fake/joke. Trust me. It’s real, delicious and coming to a store near you.” Accompanying the statement was a photo of the ice cream pint packaging, and now it’s all up on their website.

In the SNL skit, Baldwin described many holiday-themed “balls for every taste” – popcorn, cheese, and rum for starters. Ben & Jerry’s take is slightly different, but the spirit’s there. “Available in both pints and in Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops, the new flavor will be Fair Trade vanilla ice cream containing rum and fudge-covered rum and milk chocolate malt balls,” says the website.

Of course, the stars of the skit had to be reached for their comment. Here’s what Alec Baldwin said. “For a long time, I thought that ‘Here Lies Pete Schweddy’ would end up on my tombstone,” said Alec Baldwin in an official press release. “Now, thanks to Ben & Jerry’s, the goodness of the Schweddy family recipe won’t go with me to the great beyond. It is immortalized here, right now, and it’s an ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s and Schweddy. Two great names in American dessert, together at last.”

Schweddy Balls Ice Cream leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.

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