written by: Shum Hei Tung, Tung
On 29 September, the Haagen-Dazs Hong Kong Facebook fan page published a 3-min video promoting its low-air content ice cream. The result yield a relatively low counts of likes and views (around 0.9K likes from 122K views as of Nov 2, 2016) if compared to the “Most Beloved Office Award x Daniel Chong” 【Häagen-Dazs™ X 莊偉忠 最有愛辦公室頒獎典禮】 five months ago (2.8K likes from 214K views).
Story set-up ‘wisely’ to bring out the key message?
Haagen-Dazs adopts a communication strategy using emotional approach to arouse audience resonance with high public-interest topics in HK – love and personal space issues. Nowadays, the average attention span on ads is only around 8 seconds . It is critical for the advertisers to successfully draw the target’s attention within such limited time and induces them to continue to watch through the remaining of the ad. In the beginning of the video, the characters rhetorically question the space needed for love. However, the audience’s patience may gradually erode with this soft-selling approach as two-third of the 3-mins video is used to explain the conflicts between characters. The ice-cream product to be promoted merely appears for around 3 seconds. If the audience misses it, they need to watch for another two minutes to discover what the actual message is.
On the other hand, popularity of the main characters playing lovers in the advertisement may not be commanding the level of popularity to bring out the celebrity effect.
Inter-connectedness between the product and the video content
At the end of the video, Haagen-Dazs tries to emphasize the uniqueness of its ice cream products, as being more condensed in air content. And the resulted texture and creamy taste differentiate Haagen-Dazs from other ice cream products in the market. Having watch through the video, it is quite difficult to recall the linkage between the love story and its low air content ice cream. From the fans feedbacks on Facebook, it seems the video may not be very effective to leave an impression with an ordinary love story plot.
Enhancing brand image through story-telling creative execution
If we try to visualize the brand persona of ice cream brands’ persona: Dreyers/Nestle’ would be a fat young boy who concerns about volume and price but quality may not be his first priority; Movenpick would be an elegant rich lady who thinks details and sophisticated texture outweigh price. Haagen-Dazs is somewhere in the middle, young couples enjoying some “quite expensive but not entirely unaffordable” high-quality ice cream. Its comparatively fair price and quality makes it stands out from competition. Haagen-Dazs is trying very hard to communicate how ‘worthy’ and ‘unique’ its ice cream is with its superior condensed air content texture and taste. However, the message is not conveyed through the love story plot, rather by direct explanation of the fictitious male character at the end of the video. The inter-connectedness is somewhat lost in translation with the sudden change to sales promotional language.