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Hershey's Just Made a Father-Daughter Ad That's One of the Year's Sweetest


Two-dimensional characters are usually dreaded in advertising, but one very thinly drawn character works perfectly in this sweet new commercial by Arnold for Hershey's.

The ad tells the story of Scarlett, a girl who longs to spend more time with her father, who is always busy with work. Tired of getting nowhere with him, she has a life-size cardboard version of him made—and he initially becomes her companion.

But the story doesn't end there.

The spot is beautifully done, from the casting (both dad and daughter are perfectly quirky) to the brooding cinematography to the music—a version of "Higher Love" that Steve Winwood recorded with his daughter Lilly.

The spot launches a new strategy for Hershey's to advertise all of its products—chocolate bars, syrup, spreads, etc.—together instead of separately under the "Hello happy. Hello Hershey's" banner. It comes four months after Arnold hired Mathew Jerrett and Tim Flood as executive creative directors in its New York office to work on the account. 

Stacie Stauffer, senior brand manager at Hershey's, tells AdFreak that the one-brand focus, with a more evocative storytelling style, is the right evolution of Hershey's messaging. 

"The second you say 'Hershey,' the most amazing thing happens," Stacie Stauffer, senior brand manager at Hershey's, tells AdFreak. "This giant flood of emotions and memories happens—when I made s'mores camping, or stirred up chocolate milk with my mom. That solidified that we should be speaking more as [one] brand, and from a much more emotional place."

She adds: "It's much more than talking about the deliciousness of the chocolate. It's about inspiring consumers to open their eyes to the happy everyday moments all around them. Particularly in our fast-paced and disconnected world, it's easy to get caught up and forget that those joys are all around you. And the brand serves as a spark." 

Of this spot in particular, Arnold's Jerrett says: "We wanted to tell a genuine story, and we also wanted a concept that had a misdirect. We didn't want the audience to understand what was going to happen. It's realism, but it's also unrealistic. It wasn't just fantastical or dialing up entertainment without reason. It was motivated by truth, even though it takes a step outside reality." 

This is the first time Hershey's has done a true anthem spot like this. The spot will be cut into a :30 for television, supported by holistic social, digital, in-stores and PR efforts. 

Client: Hershey's
Agency: Arnold Worldwide
Production Company: The Corner Shop
Director: Peter Thwaites
Executive Producer: Anna Hashmi
Director of Photography:  Tom Sigel 

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