Godiva Unwraps Chocolate Passions

NEW YORK Godiva Chocolatier wants its customers to flaunt their passions.

A print and outdoor campaign from independent Sugartown Creative breaking in mid-October positions the chocolate maker as a designer accessory meant to be flaunted.

Sugartown’s campaign has three different executions, each focused on a separate aspect of the company. Giving chocolate as a gift, using chocolate as an indulgence and the recently introduced Godiva Chocoiste, miniature chocolate balls meant to be eaten on the go.

“This is the first time that our campaign is not just looking at gifting, but at a broad array across the category: gifting, self treat and mobile,” said Sharon Rothstein, vp, global marketing and merchandising, for Godiva, based in New York.

Godiva Gold focuses on the company’s signature gold gift box and uses the tagline, “Flaunt your passion.” A fashionably dressed woman is shown reaching towards life-size box of chocolate.

The holiday-themed execution uses “Let the decadence begin” as a tagline and shows a woman gazing raptly down at an enormous box of chocolates surrounded by red and green gift ribbons.

The Chocoiste execution depicts a woman confidently striding towards the camera with a box of the candy in the background. The floor is littered with giant globules of chocolate.

“The existing work had set [Godiva] up as a fashion brand. We wanted to show chocolate as an accessory that you can eat,” said Fritz Westenberger, co-president of Sugartown Creative. Westenberger directed the shoot at New York’s Chelsea Piers.

Fashion photographer Karel Keuhne shot each execution. The campaign will start in mid-October and run until spring.

Godiva spilt with MDC Partners’ Margeotes Fertitta Powell, which is now shuttered, last year, and hired Sugartown after a review involving undisclosed contenders. MFP’s last campaign for the company in 2005 was called “Diva” and compared Godiva to luxury goods seen in high-end fashion magazines.

Godiva in recent years has broadened its focus from being primarily a gift product to one that individuals can buy for themselves with the introduction of individual chocolate bars, chocolate-covered fruits and nuts and, most recently, Chocoiste.

“We looked at how consumers look at chocolate and it’s a lot more than a special occasion gift,” said Rothstein. “Consumers want to enjoy it on a day-to-day basis. People want to share and serve with a broad array of chocolate as well as gifting.”

The campaign comes as Campbell Soup, which owns the Belgian confectioner, said in August that it was exploring selling the chocolate maker and had hired Centerview Partners as its financial advisor.

At the time, Douglas Conant, Campbell’s president and CEO, said in a statement, “The premium chocolate business does not fit with Campbell’s strategic focus on simple meals, including soup-baked snacks and vegetable-based beverages. It is the right time to explore strategic alternatives for Godiva as we continue to optimize Campbell’s long-term growth potential by leveraging the competitive advantages of our simple meals, baked snacks and vegetable-based beverages businesses.”

Godiva had no comment regarding the possible sale of the company. Campbell did not return calls.