JWT’s Team Iconic launched a new campaign for Nestlé and Kit Kat in Europe (Hershey has the Kit Kat brand in the U.S.), celebrating the brand’s Cocoa Plan, which the company claims results in wholly sustainably-sourced cocoa. The campaign arrives following last month’s Supreme Court decision to decline an appeal from Nestlé and others to dismiss a lawsuit alleging it aided and abetted child slave labor on its cocoa plantations in Africa. In addition to the child slave labor accusations, Nestlé’s troubled history with its chocolate brands also includes price-fixing in Canada.
Whether or not viewers are aware of it, this is the context behind The Nestlé Cocoa Plan and the new campaign from JWT’s Team Iconic featuring YouTube star Fun for Louis and world-renowned Ivory Coast soccer player Didier Drogba, which will probably be seen by a lot more people than news of the company’s recent alleged human rights violations. The lengthy (over five minutes long) spot celebrates The Nestlé Cocoa Plan, which Nestlé claims has made it “the first global confectionary brand to become 100 percent sustainable.” Opening with Fun for Louis’ arrival in the Ivory Coast, the launch spot documents a visit by Droga to a local school (unsurprisingly, they are thrilled) before shifting to a conversation between Fun for Louis, Drogba and Darrell High, global head of The Nestlé Cocoa Plan. While this begins with Drogba passionately discussing what his foundation has done for the country, Fun for Louis then provides the painful transition, “And does that tie in to the stuff that Nestlé’s doing out here?” which gives it an artificiality form which it can’t recover. The Nestlé Cocoa Plan has certainly done some good, including the building of 40 schools and a focus on more sustainable farming practices. Other spots in the campaign feature Fun for Louis diving into these aspects of The Nestlé Cocoa Plan.
Still, skeptical viewers may wonder how much the plan, and this campaign from Team Inconic, is just posturing and greenwashing rather than an effort toward real substantive change (especially given the company’s history of dubious marketing claims). After all, if Nestlé is serious about sustainability, they still have a long way to go to make up for past transgressions. Stopping their ethically and legally questionable sourcing of bottled water in drought-stricken California would be a nice step.
Agency: Team Iconic at J. Walter Thompson
Global Creative Director: Marcus Woolcott
Creative Director: Barry Christie
Creative: Benjamin Hopkins & Morten Legarth
Production Director: Toby Clifton
Production Assistant: Rosanna Lawson
Planner (Creative Agency): Orlando Hooper-Greenhill
Global Director in Charge: Stephanos Klimathianos
Business Director: Rosie Atkins and Britta Plattner
Senior Account Manager: Katharine O’Donnell
Project Manager: Laurie Carter
Director: Ollie Murray
Director of Photography: Benjamin Thomas
Production Company: My Accomplice