Ben & Jerry’s Using Runners to Pick Ice Cream Flavors

Maybe this makes perfect marketing sense, but someone is going to have to explain it to me:

Ice cream makers Ben & Jerry’s is turning to crowdsourcing, tracking habits of residents in five U.S. cities, to decide on new flavors for those markets.

The project, dubbed “City Churned,” will track the habits of city dwellers New York, Washington, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, Ore., and solicit votes on elements in the flavors, which are to be sold in those cities.

…In Washington, the company filmed joggers along the Potomac River, with every northbound jogger counting as a vote for marshmallow and southbound joggers counted as votes for peppermint.

I guess technically this is crowdsourcing but I would call it using an arbitrary human action to choose between two arbitrary flavors, with the “crowd” entirely unaware of its role. But I run a two-bit running blog and not a multi-million dollar company, so what do I know?