IDEA: Candy brings out the kid in everyone.
It's a simple, straightforward truth that's illustrated memorably in two new British ads for Haribo Starmix candies showing grownups not just acting like children but speaking like them, too—thanks to some expert lip-syncing of dialogue. The result is peculiar and hilarious and very much in line with the brand's spirit.
"Tonally we always try to bring some infectious positivity to the brand with our work—always playful and a bit cheeky," said Laura Derbyshire, business director at Haribo agency Quiet Storm.
"We know from experience in the office that if you open a pack of Haribo, people can't help but smile and dive in," added planning director Jon Howard. "Haribo provides an excuse to let your hair down and take simple pleasures in just having fun. In this way the executions are a very direct expression of this brand thought."
The approach also mirrors a line on the packaging that's also sung in the brand jingle: "Kids and grownups love it so." And that's the target market, Howard said—"the child inside of all of us, whatever age we may be."
COPYWRITING: The agency found kids in casting and had them talk freely about their favorite Starmix candies. The writers then created scripts from the hours of audio recordings and put the words in the mouths of adults in two different settings—in one spot, a company boardroom; in the other, a movie theater.
"I like the hearts, 'cause they make me feel loved," a young company man in a suit tells his colleagues in the first spot. Squishing two candies together, a hefty older gentleman adds: "Then look, you can make a big, big sandwich!"
The second spot shows two men impressing the same woman at the cinema with the candies. "My Starmix are better than his because I've got fried eggs. You can eat the yellow bit first, then the white bit," says one. "Stop, you!" says the other indignantly.
The ads close with a product shot and the jingle.
ART DIRECTION/FILMING: Agency creative director Mary-Sue Masson filmed both ads on the same day using two different setups inside the Tate Modern art gallery in London.
"While clearly from the same campaign, we wanted each of the executions to have their own look," said Masson. The boardroom is a clean, cool white space. "In the grade we bleached the whites to achieve this look as well as throw forward the product," Masson said. The movie theater has a richer visual palette. "We took reference for the grade from Cinema Paradiso to give it its warm look, using lots of reds," she added.
TALENT: The agency went with very young kids whose voices provided the starkest contract with the grownups. "We also found the younger the children, the less contrived they were and the more vivid their imaginations, and this was important, as it was unscripted," said Masson.
For the adults, the agency cast "people who were both strong and natural," she added, "and were able to give both adult and childlike natural performances and slip seamlessly from one to the other."
SOUND: The sound bed is mostly atmospherics and a little Foley.
"In the cinema ad, we used a typical cinematic romantic theme tune which played in the background up until the point where the character says 'Stop, you!' when the music stops abruptly. This added another layer of humor to the script," said Masson.
The jingle has been used in all Haribo work across Europe for years.
MEDIA: The media plan is TV, cinema, radio and online in the U.K. and Ireland. These first spots will run until June.
Agency: Quiet Storm
Creative Team: Trevor Robinson, Mary-Sue Masson
Production Company: Quiet Storm
Director: Mary-Sue Masson
Producer: Kate Pirouet
Sound Studio: Angell Sound
Engineer: Dave Robinson