Häagen-Dazs Spoons Up a Minimalist New Look and Tagline in First Ads From JWT

Brand recently exited long-time agency, GSP

Few packaged goods have as strong an association with design-driven work as Häagen-Dazs, with little narrative typically needed as the brand visually communicates its high-end positioning. In its first work from new U.S. creative partner, J. Walter Thompson, Häagen-Dazs advances that tradition and introduces a tagline playing off its name: "äah."

"Häagen-Dazs has always aspired to a nice, clean aesthetic. They strip everything down to the essentials—focusing on simple, pure, ultra-premium ice cream," explained Chris Dealy, ecd at JWT, New York. "Aesthetically, we wanted to treat the layout like a very high-end fashion brand."

The campaign is the first since Häagen-Dazs quietly switched agencies on April 1, leaving longtime partner Goodby Silverstein & Partners for JWT, which is now Häagen-Dazs' lead creative agency in the U.S. GSP picked up the brand in 2003, replacing JWT, Chicago, and the Nestlé ice cream became one of Goodby's most visible clients. (Early ads showing Häagen-Dazs's concern over the plight of honey bees—and their reduced pollination—also helped draw consumer attention to that problem.)

The new JWT campaign launches this week with 15-second national TV spots and will be followed by a four-city, out-of-home (OOH) pitch next month. The entire campaign uses a clean, simple imagery, while the commercials employ a voiceover asking viewers how to describe something "so pure, yet so indulgent."

A spoon elegantly scoops vanilla ice cream, revealing the word "äah." Even at the spot's end, the brand's ionic doily logo is reduced to its basic shape sans the container.

CREDITS

Client: Häagen-Dazs
Agency: J. Walter Thompson, New York
Campaign: "äah"
Executive Creative Director: Chris Dealy
Creative Director: Dominic Al-Samarraie
Art Director: Jessica Stewart
Copywriters: Erin Copithorne, Kate Delaney, Kyle Provo
Chief Creative Officer, JWT, NY : Brent Choi
Project Manager: Scott Kogos
Agency Account Team: Simona Margarito, Global Business Director;  Katie Gallagher, Account Supervisor; Charlotte Deavers, Associate Account                                                                        WPP Global Client Leader: Stephanos Klimathianos
Global Planning Director: Ugo Ceria
Global Account Director: Charlotte Edwards                                                                                Client Account Team: Kim Peddle Rguem ,VP, Marketing; Alex Placzek, director of Marketing; Kerry Hopkins, Brand Manager; Kim Chitra, Associate Brand Manager
TV Director: Torsten Eichten
Production Company: The Marmalade Films GmbH & Co KG
Photographer: Nigel Cox
Media Agency: Metavision