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Chocolate Meets Fashion in New Godiva Effort

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NEW YORK Godiva is positioning itself as a fashion "do" this fall, beginning with a print and outdoor campaign that puts the chocolates on par with luxury items featured in the magazines where the ads will bow.

The campaign, created by MDC Partners' Margeotes|Fertitta + Partners in New York, targets fashion-conscious 20- to 30-year-olds with a calculated fashion-ad look and an appeal to women's "inner divas," said Godiva North America vp of marketing Jacqueline Lenart.

In one ad touting Godiva's Limited Edition Truffles, Victoria's Secret model Frankie Rayder appears in a lush room with blue velvet wallpaper, porcelain vases and crystal sconces. Rayder stares into the camera while balancing a truffle between her fingertips.

The copy reads, "Every woman is one part 'diva,' much to the dismay of every man." The word "diva" is drawn out of the last four letters of the brand name. In other ads, the "diva" counts herself lucky that "there's no rule about white chocolate after Labor Day," and she just can't put her "freshly manicured finger" on what makes a diva. There are four executions to date.

The effort is a departure from past work, which depicted the chocolate at the center of special moments and targeted 35- to 54-year-olds. But Lenart said the "inner-diva" strategy aims to cut across generation lines, appealing to all women who balance long work hours with other responsibilities.

"They deserve a reward, but they know best what kind of reward," said Lenart. "It's not as strong as an empowerment, but a deservingness."

Still, Godiva must earn its fashion credentials with the younger set, said Lenart.

The target demos for luxury goods are "getting younger and younger," said Joan Steuer, president of Chocolate Marketing in Beverly Hills, Calif. Luxury consumers are "a lot more connected, well traveled and affluent," she added. "It just makes sense." Steuer called Godiva "the Tiffany of chocolates," likening the little gold box to Tiffany's unmistakable blue box.

That gold box will change, said Lenart, as Godiva strives to reinvent itself beyond its ad campaign. In order to attract younger consumers, Godiva will redesign its boxes and introduce new "it" offerings each season, as do fashion brands, said Lenart. The first of these offerings is Godiva's Limited Edition Truffles line and its G line, a limited-edition batch of super-premium chocolate.

This holiday season, luxury-inspired shoppers can buy a $195 "Sterling Truffles" box sold in a sterling silver case or a $350 package encased in African wenge wood, Lenart said. Godiva is working with a former Ralph Lauren designer to conceive of more offerings.

"We even consult the color councils of Milan and Paris," when designing the packaging, said Lenart.