Sweets and the City: Godiva Deploys a Retro Pink Truck to ‘Deliver Happiness’ to New Yorkers

Right now, Godiva figures we could all use some good cheer—and chocolate.

Recalling a post-World War II stunt in which Godiva founder Pierre Draps repainted delivery trucks a bright pink to spread good cheer throughout Brussels, the premium chocolate brand sent a pink-hued vintage truck to hot spots around New York City for a sampling activation June 9-13. It also doubled as a celebration of the brand’s 95th anniversary.

“With the debut of our modern-day pink truck we want to deliver happiness to consumers after an unprecedented year,” says John Galloway, chief marketing and innovation officer at Godiva.

impossible-food-truck-tour-2021-two boys eat samplesMore sampling strategies:

With mask mandates outdoors lifted and more tourists and office workers on the streets, there was ample opportunity to reach consumers near high-traffic spots throughout New York City such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Herald Square. The brand also spread the word through traditional p.r. and media outreach, social content and paid social media with geo-targeting, and influencers on platforms like TikTok and Instagram. All told, brand ambassadors handed out some 15,000 chocolate products.

“As marketers and as we shift more to our CPG strategy, it was clear to us that in-person activations and guerilla-style marketing would be necessary to connect with consumers,” Galloway says. “We wanted to get in front of them where they are every day, and no better place to reach a diverse audience than the streets of NYC.”

The nostalgic activation was centered on the vehicle—a vintage 1948 Citroen truck painted bright pink with detailed artwork that featured images of the products being sampled and messaging related to the 95th anniversary.

Godiva celebrated its 95th anniversary with a vintage-style pink truck like the kind it used to lift people’s spirits after World War II.

Another goal of the activation was to educate consumers about the accessibility of Godiva at mass retailers such as CVS, Walgreens and Target.

“Godiva’s marketing strategy is to be available wherever and whenever our consumers crave us,” Galloway says. “As a brand, we are expanding beyond formal gifting to become a part of consumers’ daily lives. One of the key ways we’re supporting this evolution is by building and investing in our CPG business, which is helping us significantly increase our availability to engage with new consumers or existing consumers in new ways.”

Along with prioritization of the CPG channel, Godiva sought to stay authentic to the brand and its roots of delivering joy.

Says Galloway: “It’s always great to see brands who can successfully surprise and delight consumers—watching people come across the van with wonder on their faces and excitement is exactly what we wanted to accomplish.” Agencies: Department of Wonder, Los Angeles (creative, production); Lippe Taylor, New York City (p.r.).

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