“It’s just chocolate!” Or is it?

Putting the passion back in your brand.

My sister Sharon, help who knows I’ve recently been doing product naming work for a high-end chocolate brand (more on that when it’s public), clinic  sent me a link she said I needed to see. You can watch the embedded YouTube vid below. It’s an absolutely brilliant short film / advertorial by a Hamilton, Ontario student filmmaker Gemma Holdway.  Watch for my favourite line in the ad: “It’s just chocolate!”

Watch this before reading further:

What I love about this

1) It’s clearly an ad, but it’s a heck of a lot of fun. Like the best viral ads you’ll see on Superbowl Sunday or in a Facebook link, it manages that tricky balance: it’s obviously designed to sell something – in this case chocolate – while at the same time keeping the content fresh and fun with great performances and a great little set-up.

2) It’s clearly targeted, but inclusive. It’s no secret that women are easily the richest target demographic for chocolate advertising. So this ad, and the contest that inspired it, are for, and all about, women. But yet, this ad also manages to be fresh and funny to everyone. Even me. And I’m the Russian judge.

3) It tells a great brand story. The narrative is what elevates this above “just chocolate” advertising. By casting the brand as the hero of a compelling, emotion-laden story, this effort soars above 98.65% (roughly) of product-focused chocolate advertising.

4) It’s not heavy-handed. Divine Chocolate makes no secret that it’s fair-trade and farmer-owned. And the tag line “Heavenly Chocolate with a heart” certainly implies this. But unlike a lot of green or “cause” brands, it doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously. And this video is nicely in that vein. I might quibble that the “fair trade” idea could have been subtly worked into the script (sweatshop kiss booths perhaps?) but maybe it’s better without it.

5) It Differs. A lazier agency dealing with the name “Divine Chocolate” would have gone with a more obvious angle – like a chocolate version of the ongoing Philly Cream Cheese “Little taste of Heaven” campaign (by Canada’s J. Walter Thompson). But since the name already says “Divine”, it works better to play on other aspects of the brand.

And how many hunky angels and simpering women characters does the world need? Really.

"Is this heaven?" "No lady, it's Philadelphia."

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