Need a Laugh? Call Netflix and Ben & Jerry’s Joke Hotline

Wanda Sykes, Aparna Nancherla and Fortune Feimster deliver one-liners promoting new flavor

Comedian Wanda Sykes, whose Netflix special debuted in 2019, offered up one-liners for the campaign. Ben & Jerry's

Looking to laugh at the end of 2020 instead of cry? There’s a hotline for that.

Netflix’s comedy arm, Netflix is a Joke, and Ben & Jerry’s have tapped comedians Wanda Sykes, Aparna Nancherla and Fortune Feimster to deliver one-liners via a hotline that promotes a new joint flavor from the streaming giant and the ice cream brand. The hotline—1-866-PUNCHLINE—promotes the limited-release ice cream batch Punch Line, a brown butter bourbon and almond ice cream mix with roasted almonds and cherries.

One such example, from Sykes: “What did the bourbon say to the almonds? Am I drunk or are you nuts?”

All three comedians, who have stand-up routines on Netflix as either stand-up specials or special episodes, also star in a series of ads promoting the hot line, which will run this week through March 2021 on paid digital, connected TV and social. The ads will also be shared organically on Ben & Jerry’s own channels, Netflix’s Netflix Is A Joke channels on YouTube and on social, and through the comedians’ own social media presences.

“Our partnership with Ben and Jerry’s is all about creating something original together that neither of us would do on our own,” Aarti Thiagarajan, Netflix’s director of brand partnerships, said in a statement. “With Wanda, Fortune and Aparna’s immense talent, we are able to delight our fans by combining two things they love in a way they would never expect. And what’s a better duo than ice cream and jokes?”

The hotline and ad campaign, developed with the creative agency Observatory and the experiential agency Trigger(House (no, that’s not a typo), is the latest in a long string of partnerships between the streaming giant and Ben & Jerry’s. Earlier this year, the companies debuted a Netflix and Chilll’d (peanut butter ice cream with pretzel and fudge brownie pieces), which was followed up with two other partnership flavors, including Boots on the Moooo’n, which promoted the Netflix original series Space Force, and Chip Happens, which promoted the reality show Nailed It!

Like Netflix and Chilll’d, the Punch Line campaign is aimed more at highlighting Netflix’s broader comedy offering, not a specific show.  

“While Netflix may be ‘a joke,’ this ice cream is not,” Jay Curley, Global Ben & Jerry’s head of integrated marketing, said in a statement. “Our latest original flavor with Netflix is not only giving fans another incredible flavor to taste but also more jokes to enjoy.”

@kelseymsutton Kelsey Sutton is the streaming editor at Adweek, where she covers the business of streaming television.