premium chocolate is good … why isn’t the advertising?

chocolate answer

 

“If there’s no chocolate in Heaven, I’m not going.”

=

Jane Seabrook

————–

“It’s not just what you say that stirs people.

It’s the way that you say it.”

=

Bill Bernbach

———————-

“Strength is the capacity to break a Hershey bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of the pieces.”

=

Judith Viorst

———————-

 

 

Ok.

 

 

This is about advertising … chocolate advertising as a matter of fact.

 

Oh.

 

It is also about bad advertising for a great premium chocolate product.

 

 

Why is it bad advertising?

 

 

David Ogilvy stated my issue today the best:
“There are very few products which do not benefit from being given a first class ticket through life.”

 

chocolate swirl

It is a premium chocolate, Dove, which asks us to take an economy class ticket in Life.

 

 

Now.

 

To be clear.

Common everyday chocolate … the lower end cost stuff <lower priced but still tastes great> … kind of gets it communicationwise … they are playful and entertaining and market themselves as part of everyday fun and everyday people.

 

 

But premium chocolate?

 

Yikes. Ok. Double yikes.

 

 

It’s kind of like they lose their mind over thinking the psychological attitudes tied <tenuously I may add> to chocolate and the things they want to attach to their brand.

 

 

Ok.

 

Therein lies a huge challenge.

 

Everyone who thinks about ‘brand building’ <which is a crazy & bad topic in and of itself> needs to be very careful about what they ‘build with.’ Brand builders tend to start building with things they want rather than things that are.

 

 

 

Look.

 

I am all for aspirational … but some pragmatism is healthy.

 

 

Which leads me to chocolate.

 

And Dove.

 

 

 

First.

 

 

While it seems like there are gobs of chocolate brands and choices most of the products that people see are really manufactured by the same two companies.

 

Milky Way, Twix, Three Musketeers, Dove, and M&M are all Mars products.

Kit Kat, Reese’s, Whoppers, Almond Joy, Mounds, Kisses and a whole shitload of others are Hershey products.

 

 

On a side note … in doing some research I found out a fascinating factoid about Mars & Hershey:chocolate hersheys-vs-mars

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Hershey and Mars have a long history between them – actually allies before becoming big rivals in the industry.

In The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars, Joël Glenn Brenner details the little known trading of information between the two companies during World War II which changed the chocolate landscape forever. Hershey sent technology and information to Mars (for M&M’s) in order to help them manufacture for the military, but Mars “exploited the opportunity.

“Few people outside the industry are aware of this part of M&M’s success. Neither company is quick to advertise it. But the truth is, the histories of these two industry rivals are closely intertwined,” and goes on to make the bold claim that, “one could argue that Mars would not have succeeded without Hershey, and vice versa”

==

The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars
Joël Glenn Brenner

———–

 

 

Anyway.

 

 

I will invoke the Pareto Principle … suffice it to say about 80% of what is sold is made by 2 companies.

 

This is called “the illusion of choice.”

 

 

The next part of the ‘illusion of choice’ is that while there are some quality differences <albeit they are mostly taste/texture differences> the largest part of price differentiation is created by how a brand chooses to market and package the chocolate.

 

chocolate packaging

After quality packaging has been designed … this puts a lot of pressure, or heavy lifting, on the marketing & advertising to drive foot traffic <thru attitudes> to the package.

 

 

For example … M&M’s and Dove Chocolates are both manufactured by Mars but Dove is branded as a smoother, elegant, high end chocolate and M&M’s are more of an everyday chocolate, good for any type of person or event, with a lower price point. The packaging reflects that decision as well as the marketing we see.

 

 

Ok.

 

 

To the horrendous Dove cranberries tv commercial.

 

 

In the ad there is this ‘mysterious woman’ … conveniently with a bag of Dove Chocolate Real Cranberries … who leads a man on a sexually charged scavenger hunt through a library.

 

 

In the end he finally catches up to her … they sit … and, of course, they share the less than ordinary pleasure of Dove chocolates with real cranberries with each other <after that it is all your imagination …>.

 

———dove chocolate cranberries

Dove Cranberries<scavenger hunt>:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7TGBxI6kCc

———-

 

 

Wow.

 

This is crap. I mean this is really shitty advertising <for an amazingly good chocolate>.

I am embarrassed for the chocolate itself.

 

 

 

So women have to be mysterious … and men have to pursue … and chocolate has to be romantic and associated with couples and … well … what crap.

 

 

This advertisement is utter garbage.

 

 

Dove should be embarrassed.

 
I hate stereotyping.

 

 

I hate trite.

 

 

I hate mindless drivel.

 

 

How they think this advertising either :

 

a> Lures people into buying Dove

b> Enhances their brand in any way

is beyond me <and my pea like brain>.

 

 

How a Dove chocolate-covered cranberry commercial depicting a woman seductively leaving clues around a library so that a man can ultimately discover her eating chocolate will build some meaningful mystique <and more importantly … value> into the Dove brand seems ludicrous to me.

 

 

Plus.

 

They must think we are stupid.

 

 

The Mystery section sign? Really ??!!??

 

As if we didn’t know she was trying to be ‘mysterious’?

 

 

In a library? Really ??!!??

 

So that we know a Dove chocolate eater is a reader and hangs out in libraries?

 

<note: if she was truly high end wouldn’t she be in some swanky exclusive bookstore and not some random public library?>

 

 

Using clues <phrases> like … “mystery”, “take the leap”, “free your mind”, “live your fantasies”, and “heating up”? Really ??!!!???

 

As if we need everything spelled out to us?

 

 

 

What crap.

 

 

How about describing and depicting the chocolate-eating experience without relying on seduction and romance?

chocolate makes

 

How about implying we eaters of premium chocolate are smart enough to know its good shit and not have to try and use some imagery that demeans us intellectually?

 

 

How about saying something about Dove that stirs us … makes us truly feel something.

 

 

For god’s sake … if I can’t do that with truly great tasting chocolate, like Dove, what the hell can I do it for?

 

 

 

I am not offering any solutions today.

 

Well.

 

 

Ok … I will.

 

1. I could argue that you could use the first quote I used upfront –If there’s no chocolate in Heaven, I’m not going … and create a pretty fabulous fun communication piece relevant to the audience in an elegant high end way.

 

2. I could argue that you could use the 3rd quote I used upfront … Strength is the capacity to break a Hershey bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of the pieces … and create a pretty fabulous fun communication piece relevant to the audience in an elegant high end way.

 

It seems like both of those off-the-cuff ideas could create a pretty fabulous tv commercial which taps into the inner insight of chocolate lovers>..

 

 

 

Look.

 

All I am suggesting is that premium brands deserve premium advertising & marketing. They deserve smart insightful and thoughtful advertising and marketing.

 

 

As Bill Bernbach says … the advertising deserves to be something that stirs people. Say something about Dove chocolate that makes me feel something … truly FEEL something.

 

 

To be clear.

 

Dove has even tried borrowed ‘elegant’ interest:

 

——

Dove with Audrey Hepburn <kind of>

Note:

I said kind of because apparently they used a stand in and thru computer recreated Audrey Hepburn

————-

 

Whew.

 

 

Borrowed interest is always tricky … really tricky when the borrowed is a dead person.

 

This attempt doesn’t really work either.

 

 

Regardless.

 

I know what they are trying to do:

 

 

– Associate the chocolate with elegance <thru Hepburn>

– Make chocolate desirable <thru Hepburn>

– Make this brand of chocolate ‘okay to buy & eat’ <if Audrey Hepburn eats it than it is okay>

 

 

They are all viable things to say and suggest.

 

But, geez, could you have possibly done it in a way that kind of makes me feel something other than ‘interesting execution’?

 

 

I admit … this whole Dove discussion reminded me of my Gevalia coffee rant < http://brucemctague.com/generic-coffee-or-advertising-a-commodity >.chocolate moment

 

 

Why do premium brands play ‘down’ intellectually when they should be playing ‘up’?

 

 

Elegant doesn’t mean it has to be trite or vapid.

 

 

Premium doesn’t mean it can’t be entertaining.

 

 

Great chocolate deserves great advertising & marketing.

 

What I have shown is not it <Dove chocolate should be embarrassed … their chocolate deserves much much better>.

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Written by Bruce