Honey Maid, GE and Quirky Explain What It Means to Be Fearless

Mondelez leaders call out unusual campaigns

Mondelez marketing and media leaders Dana Anderson and Bonin Bough let brands do most of the talking today at an Advertising Week session about being fearless.

Front and center were the marketing and agency leaders behind Droga5's "This Is Wholesome" campaign for Mondelez' Honey Maid, and the marketing executives behind General Electric's product invention partnership with Quirky. The latter experiment gave rise to a line of "smart home" products, including an Aros air conditioner that can be controlled via phone app.

While the products got to market quickly—five products in five months, according to GE's Linda Boff—the marketing behind them was a challenge, as Quirky sought something radically different from the ads that GE has produced in the past. As Bret Kovacs, head of marketing and community at Quirky, put it, "My biggest fear, quite honestly, was that we're going to look like GE."

Kovacs added that Quirky, a product invention company, is still setting its path out there and "we want to be known for us." The result was this idiosyncratic ad—from Partners & Spade—that features Aros inventor Garthen Leslie getting his feet rubbed by Quirky's CEO:

Honey Maid's biggest challenge initially was selling through its strategy of celebrating different types of families inside Mondelez. And to meet that challenge, brand leaders approached a relatively small group of decision makers at the company, according to Gary Osifchin, senior director of marketing for wholesome sweet brands.

"This couldn't be done by committee," Osifchin explained.

Given that the initial ad in the campaign featured a same-sex couple, brand and agency leaders anticipated a negative response from some consumers. But rather than run away from it, they created this video that illustrated both the positive and negative initial feedback, which in turn, generated more positive feedback:

Reflecting on the fearlessness of both Honey Maid and the Quirky/GE experiment, Anderson, the global chief marketing officer of Mondelez, urged marketers to try new things, improvise and "say 'yes' even more often to great ideas."

Besides, Anderson added, "This is the time where you have to push and demand greatness because your consumers want it. You know, they say if they won't share it, we won't care. If it's not good enough for somebody to tell somebody about, then it's not good enough for you. So, I think fearlessness is the only route right now because of the times that we're in."