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Space tell Gen Z to not hold back for Häagen-Dazs | #BehindTheIdea

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Ice cream is always going to be a big draw when it comes to advertising. There’s something so bold and alluring about it, after all, particularly the ‘luxury’ brands. And it doesn’t more luxurious and iconic than Häagen-Dazs.

But while the brand is indeed strong with millennials and older consumers, it means precious little to Gen Z. That’s where the latest campaign from Space comes in. 

The work is based around one key insight: The pandemic has opened the door to an onslaught of hustle culture with GenZ keen on pursuing their passion projects and cancelling the convention of a typical 9 to 5. The only issue was, these side hustles weren’t getting the spotlight they deserved. All this talent was going to waste. 

Using this as a catalyst, they concepted the ‘Don’t Hold Back Projekt’: a force-for-good initiative uplifting, mentoring and giving a platform to GenZs with passion projects. 

To learn more, we went behind the idea with the creative team behind the campaign, Lia Rodgers and Rosie Howe. They were initially tasked with increasing the iconicity of Häagen-Dazs by driving relevance with Gen Z and we think they’ve hit it out of the park with this one.

How did the initial pitch/brainstorming phase go?

After working with Häagen-Dazs in Germany for 4 years, we’ve built a strong relationship with the client and developed an in-depth understanding of the brand. Gaining this trust has allowed us to continually push parameters with each consecutive campaign and make a genuine impact on the lives of our target audience through the brand’s global brand idea ‘Don’t Hold Back’.

What was the process behind ideating the concept?

Research, research, and more research. Our goal was to understand any cultural tensions and behaviours that were emerging amongst our target market. Part of this research meant reflecting on our own experiences as well as any behavioural patterns noticed amongst our own generation. 

The pandemic had influenced shifting trends amongst our generation: having spent more time indoors than ever before, our peers were exercising their creativity through online side projects. Be it prints, jewellery, rugs, knitting, you name it, GenZ were making an Insta for it. This discovery led us to our key insight: the pandemic had opened the door to an onslaught of hustle culture.

But, these side projects weren’t receiving the recognition they deserved. From this, we concepted the ‘Don’t Hold Back Projekt’: a force-for-good initiative uplifting, mentoring and giving a platform to GenZ with passion projects. This idea became an early front runner and resonated with everyone we shared it with.

What was the production process like?

As soon as we onboarded our talented Berlin-based Photographer and Production agency who spoke fluent English, the process went smoothly. They instantly took to our idea and were keen to help deliver our vision. The Photographer came with her own movement specialist; the pair worked seamlessly together, capturing candid shots of our competition winners. Berlin itself offered tasty burgers and beautiful buildings…which we enjoyed through a taxi window in our 24-hour fly by visit.

What was the biggest challenge during production? How did you overcome it?

As a London agency working with Häagen-Dazs’ German market, organising a shoot in Berlin in a post-pandemic world posed a few challenges …out of date passports, numerous flight forms, a 24-hour fly-by visit to mention a few. Although the pre-production felt challenging, the shoot itself ran smoothly and was a fantastic experience to have under our belts.

What kit/tools/software were used to create the project?

The Adobe suite took us from start to finish of the campaign. Our designers used Photoshop to cut out and apply consistent treatments to all our empowering imagery. Illustrator was then used to create detailed storyboards for our motion team to take directly into After Effects and turn into slick animations. Having a strong team and process in place, enabled us to start with our social launch edit and scale up to revealing our winners in massive DOOH at Mercedes-Benz Arena.  

What is one funny or notable thing that happened during production?

Apart from the humungous burgers that were the size of our heads, the most notable thing was the new experience. Having never travelled abroad for a shoot before, this opportunity was great for building confidence and our network in a different country.

What’s the main message of this project and why does it matter?

The main take home of this project is to not hold back when pursuing your passion and turning it into a career. We want to empower Gen Z to realise chasing dreams is always possible and Häagen-Dazs is a brand to count on when it comes to championing up and coming talent.

What do you hope it achieves for the brand?

The Don’t Hold Back Projekt champions ‘real’ up-and-coming talent from Häagen-Dazs’ target market, giving a platform to otherwise unheard voices. They’re at the heart of our campaign and represent a generation of side hustlers. We hope Gen Z begin to consider Häagen-Dazs a brand that stands up for them and genuinely cares about their passions and dreams. 

Credit list for the work?

Creative team: Rosie Howe & Lia Rodgers

Design: Rosie Palmer & Georgina Martin

Motion: Rob Martin Dale

Creative Director: Mark Daw / Liam Nicholson

Photographer: Marija Mihailova (Agent: Emeis Deubel)

Stylist: Davor Jelusic (Liganord Creative Services)

Makeup artist: Helena Narra (Liganord Creative Services)

Production: Friederike Seifert

Client Service: Daisy Hampton, Samantha Hardy

Client: Henriette Pagels 

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