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Unilever-owned Ben & Jerry's has decided to get involved in the 2016 election cycle - not by taking sides, but by pushing people to vote. Among its tools is a new flavor: Empower Mint.

Advertising Age writes that "the ice cream maker has long promoted its progressive social mission, speaking out on issues including growth hormones in milk, marriage equality and climate change. This year, its effort is a 'Democracy Is in Your Hands' campaign that uses online videos showing fingers, spoons and ice cream to explain such complex political topics as the power of big money and voting rights, and to push people to vote."

The story notes that when Unilever bought the company from founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield for $326 million in 2000, one of the terms of the deal "included establishing an independent Ben & Jerry's board of directors to focus on areas such as the company's social mission and brand integrity ... Ben & Jerry's is among the more outspoken brands on social issues, even though it is housed within a major public company. It is the only big brand in the Democracy Awakening coalition, which is largely comprised of environmental, political, religious and social organizations."

"We take on the issues that we think are most important to our values and where we can have an impact," Jay Curley, the company's senior global marketing manager, tells Ad Age. "I don't think this is a big departure from where we've been, but I do think it's another step forward in really trying to bring more justice into this world."
KC's View:
These kinds of initiatives are among the things that make Ben & Jerry's a terrific company ... and Unilever deserves a lot of credit for allowing it to continue to do these sorts of projects.