This Kiss Is Not Just a Kiss

Harris Drury Cohen has been named lead creative agency for Hershey International.

The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., shop defeated CreatAbility of Coral Gables, Fla., in the finals of a review that began last winter to win the estimated $6 million account.

Ogilvy & Mather in New York handles domestic advertising for Hershey’s Kisses.

HDC’s Hershey victory caps a $12 million new-business winning streak that includes Alfred Angelo formal attire in Horsham, Pa., Almond Resorts in Barbados and the Florida Philharmonic, based in Fort Lauderdale.

The assignment by Hershey International of Weston, Fla., is both an opportunity and a challenge. HDC has been charged with introducing Hershey’s Kisses and later Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, familiar brands in the U.S., to virgin overseas markets including Japan, the Philippines and Brazil.

“They don’t know what a Kiss is,” said HDC creative director Michael Cannon. “We’ve decided to elevate the shape, so people in Brazil or wherever will recognize it immediately. Our biggest battle was coming up with creative that went beyond product spots.”

An iconic “Kiss Girl” will be featured prominently in HDC’s initial television campaign, scheduled to break this June, Cannon said.

“We took the essence of a Kiss beyond the product itself,” said HDC CEO Michael Goldberg. “It’s an innocent expression of tenderness. Looking at the world situation, the concept of a little more tenderness is not a bad positioning.”

Internationally, the brand will exhibit “nuances in both product and packaging” tailored to consumers’ tastes in individual markets, Goldberg said.

Cannon also indicated HDC’s upcoming campaign for Almond will promote the resort as “a place where one is given an experience, not just a room.”