Product / ServiceVALENTINE'S DAY
CategoryA04. Best Use or Integration of User-Generated Content
Production Company TAIYO KIKAKU Tokyo, JAPAN

The Campaign

In Japan, only women give gifts to men on Valentine’s Day, usually chocolate Giving Godiva chocolate is considered premium and polite. But this also posed a problem as Valentine’s Day had become ritualized and rather formal, lacking emotion and romance. While Godiva is well known and respected, consumers had lost the meaning of the love and emotion the brand was meant to represent. Our challenge: inject emotion into the brand and passion into the act of giving in order to increase awareness & sales despite a flat market, engaging not just Godiva’s core target, but potential consumers as well.


In a country of bows and formality, a place where public displays of emotion are avoided, Valentine’s Day in Japan had become ritualized and rather polite, lacking emotion and romance. For 2013, Godiva broke the status quo by bringing emotion back to its brand and the act of giving on Valentine’s Day, challenging women to express their love more openly and freely, physically and online. To break through the indifference and formality, we devised a way to get women to hug in public. In fact, we got them to hug a specially designed mannequin that measured their hug quality! A custom designed hugging booth appeared in various locations leading up to Valentine’s Day. When a woman hugged the high tech mannequin, a photo was taken at the moment of truth, then automatically posted on Facebook together with a hug score for all to see. The Facebook page also contained event film footage, photos, news and activities to stimulate participation. A campaign site acted as the conduit between Godiva’s main site and the Facebook page, with product news, details of where the Love & Hug booth would appear, and even provided an online app allowing people to send each other virtual hugs. Godiva successfully brought back emotion to Valentine's Day, making it a time for fun romance, with thousands of women hugging the mannequin, and sharing their experience online.

The thinking behind the campaign is simple: Make the participation component irresistible. It breaks through the cultural status quo of Valentine gift giving in Japan in a playful way and encourages people to actively participate in the real world and online. There was an opportunity to inject some unexpected emotional value into Valentine’s Day by asking women to express their feelings in a physical way, by hugging the mannequin in public and sharing their experience via social media. This campaign reflected the emotional brand values Godiva wanted to achieve, impacting popular culture in a fun and unusual way.

Our goal was to get 600 women to hug the mannequin prior to Valentine's Day. Over 6,300 women hugged the mannequin, with 37% sharing their experience via Facebook, another 31% using mobile to share the event via Twitter, Pinterest, blogs, etc. Awareness of the Facebook page was astounding: a 130% engagement rate, 6X the amount of other Food & Beverage pages. 34,000 users created a story for sharing, resulting in 3.5 million unique Facebook users seeing the content. Despite only being a 3 week campaign, earned over 7,000 Facebook Likes, and over 5,000 Google search results. High rating TV shows, web news and blogs picking up the Love & Hug story, earning $1.5 million in unpaid media. Sales increased by 8.5% despite the stagnant market.


Name Company Position
Akane Yamamoto Saatchi/Saatchi Fallon Tokyo Art Director
Tamayo Otomune Saatchi/Saatchi Fallon Tokyo Strategic Planner
Saori Imai Saatchi/Saatchi Fallon Tokyo Account Executive
Maiko Itami Saatchi/Saatchi Fallon Tokyo Group Account Director
Kazumi Ueda Saatchi/Saatchi Fallon Tokyo Interactive Planner
Takahisa Hashimoto Saatchi/Saatchi Fallon Tokyo Associate Creative Director
Yoshihige Takei Saatchi/Saatchi Fallon Tokyo Creative Director
Phillip Rubel Saatchi/Saatchi Fallon Tokyo Chief Executive Officer