What Women Want: Gummi Bears

In its first major U.S. ad campaign, German candy maker Haribo targets women by likening its gummi bear brand to fine jewelry.

Three print ads, by Mad Dogs & Englishmen in New York, will break in May issues of magazines such as Cosmopolitan, InStyle and YM.

In one execution, a woman’s exposed navel shows a green gummi bear inserted in her bellybutton. “In case of emergency, gently remove,” the copy reads. Another ad reveals a yellow bear dangling from a woman’s earlobe. “When money is no object,” the copy says. The third ad features a woman wearing a necklace made of multi-colored gummi bears. The copy: “When diamonds are no longer enough.”

The work is set against a black background, and the women featured are well-coiffed and stylish. The copy’s italicized white type is meant to add an additional element of elegance. The tagline is “The world’s finest Gummi Bears.”

“The focus on up scale positioning of the brand [is directed] to female consumers. The target group is women between the ages of 13-34,” said Christian Jegen, president of Haribo USA in Baltimore. “This demographic was chosen because women in this age bracket tend to be the main consumers of gummi products.”

Women like the candies for their low-calorie appeal, Jegen added, but because the bears are imported, they are slightly more expensive than kid-targeted brands in the category.

Jegen said a TV spot, being created by a European agency, will also air here.

“The look [of the ads] springs from the diamond and watch ads, which take themselves very seriously,” said agency creative director and partner Guy Seese, who helped shape the distinctive look of the work.

Seese, the art director who created Evian’s “L’original” outdoor campaign while at Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, added that the new work is “designed to feel like those [watch and jewelry ads], but still have a sense of humor.”

The client handed its account to Mad Dogs in August without a review. For the past two years, Har ibo has been running an outdoor campaign by Eller Media in select markets that touts the company as the inventor of gummi bears.

Media spending for the new ad campaign was unavailable, and Jegen declined to disclose billings. Tim Boyle/Newsmakers