Godiva launches marketing campaign to make chocolate more accessible

  • Godiva is launching its biggest marketing campaign ever, featuring ‘Captain America’ star Chris Evans.
  • The chocolate maker wants to broaden the appeal of its chocolates beyond gifts and double its revenue in four years.
  • The company also wants to ensure that it does not lose its position as a luxury gift.

Godiva has long positioned its chocolates as a luxury item that you give as a gift, rather than buying for yourself.

But on Tuesday, Godiva launched its biggest-ever marketing campaign to woo consumers who would normally seek out a Snickers or Hershey bar.

While 67% of chocolate consumers buy premium chocolate like Godiva, Ghiardelli and Ferrero, 83% buy mainstream brands, according to a 2021 report from the National Confectioner’s Association.

The campaign, titled “Godiva is chocolate”, cost double what Godiva usually spends on campaigns – the company wouldn’t give figures – and required double the staff to execute. Part of this cost is due to Godiva’s very first job with a celebrity. Chris Evans, best known for playing Captain America in the Marvel movies, narrates various 15 and 30 second spots, featuring women enjoying Godiva chocolate as they take a break from things like caring for their children.

The campaign is running on digital channels including smart TV, YouTube and Instagram as part of the company’s growing digital investment in reaching millennials. Godiva also plans to launch its new TikTok channel later this year. .

The drive to grow beyond gift sales is at the heart of Godiva’s plan to double revenue in four years.

The company makes this effort after experimenting with selling its chocolates through retailers. Godiva began selling its products in convenience stores in 2017, but doubled its sales through retailers in 2021 when it closed its 128 stores in the United States, said Godiva’s global CEO, Nurtac Afridi.

“We were in hundreds of Walmart stores in 2020,” Afridi said. “In 2021, we were in 1,200 stores.”

Afridi closed Godiva stores because the pandemic killed foot traffic. But even before the pandemic, she said, traffic had dwindled and stores weren’t reaching new customers.

“You lock in certain points,” Afridi said of the boutiques. “But there are 300,000 outlets in North America, and we wanted to reach more consumers.” Since increasing the availability of its products at retailers last year, Godiva’s sales have soared 37%.

Repositioning Godiva always involves risk. It sells some of its most popular products as individually wrapped candies at convenience stores, which will create new expenses and potential complications.

“It costs money to get the smaller moulds, packaging and packaging, and it’s more work from a supply chain logistics management perspective,” said Ephi Maglaris, executive director of the trade organization Fine Chocolate Industry Association. Godiva is not a member of the org.

Godiva also risks losing its premium cachet if its products become convenience store mainstays. Afridi said Godiva is expanding its portfolio by making its candies more available and is not giving up its reputation as a premium gift provider.

“Godiva has a very strong positioning in the gift space,” she said. “And we will protect that.”

William L. Hart