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First work from Forsman & Bodenfors for Häagen Dazs brand is about ‘being present’

Haagen-Dazs is urging viewers “Don’t Hold Back” in its first work from new global creative agency Forsman & Bodenfors.

The work aims at celebrating inclusiveness and positivity and comes after the agency was appointed a year ago by General Mills, which owns Haagen-Dazs outside the U.S. It follows a pitch that, besides creativity and strategy, also requested agencies to demonstrate a commitment to gender inclusion. The account moved from Saatchi & Saatchi, which did not repitch.

The result, a collaboration between Forsman & Bodenfors’ offices in Stockholm and Shanghai, is a colorful and energetic film that features a diverse cast. This includes Japanese fashion influencers Aya and Ami Suzuki, Swedish-Korean actress and director Nim Kyoung Ran Sundstrom, and UnFmiFve Dance Company as well as Lavender Hill Softball Club, both from South Africa. All were street-cast in a deliberate attempt not to pick well-known celebrities.

Styled by designer Selam Fessahaye, the film is set to a new version of The Chemical Brothers’ track “Galvanize.” Originally sampling Moroccan singer Najat Aatabou’s “Hadi Kedba Bayna”, the cover version features the classically trained Cape Town Youth Choir and gospel group Ukhonukamva Worship Choir.

The campaign is running in more than 20 countries across Europe, Central and South America, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia. However, it is not running in the U.S. where the brand’s rights are owned by Froneri, having been sold by Nestle earlier this year.

As well as the spot seen here, the campaign includes more than 40 films for both TV and digital, in-store activations, tactical social media and new product launches. The brand said that in launching the film now, it hopes to encourage people to make the most of opportunities, particularly as countries come out of lockdown.

“‘Don’t Hold Back’ is a really important philosophy for us,” said Michelle Odland, global business director for Haagen-Dazs, in a statement. “In an increasingly busy world full of pressures and expectations, we spend a lot of our life not being present. By saying ‘Don’t hold back,’ we want to encourage people to let go and be truly present in a moment.”

Source: Ad Age