Häagen-Dazs has a message for everyone this summer: “Don’t hold back”
Posted on 2020 Jul,01

“Don’t hold back” is at the center of Häagen-Dazs’s new global brand concept, premiering worldwide with the help from a song by The Chemical Brothers.

After months of living with restrictions impacting our daily lives, the renowned ice-cream brand hopes to inspire people to make the most out of the opportunities still available. “Don’t hold back” – a call for everyone to follow their inner voice and live life to the fullest--is at the center of Häagen-Dazs’s new brand concept. As the world is slowly emerging from its lockdown state, the message becomes even more relevant.

The hero piece of the new concept is a film that celebrates inclusiveness and embodies the encouraging and positive approach of “Don’t hold back”. This is Häagen-Dazs’s first step in their new communication journey, intending to move towards a creative world of great energy, ice cream, and people.

The 'Don’t Hold Back' concept is the first work after Forsman & Bodenfors won the global creative account for the General Mills' ice cream brand in a pitch that, besides creativity and strategy, also requested agencies to demonstrate a commitment to gender inclusion. The result is a collaboration between the agency's offices in Stockholm and Shanghai. It launches in more than 20 countries across Europe, Central and South America, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia with a wide range of more than 40 films for both TV and digital, in-store activations, tactical social media layers, local PR events, and new product launches.

Accompanying the film is a new version of The Chemical Brothers’ Grammy awarded song “Galvanize”, a fitting soundtrack that personifies going for what you want in life and following your own path. Originally sampling Moroccan singer Najat Aatabou’s “Hadi Kedba Bayna”, this new rendition of the song is the result of pairing the classically trained Cape Town Youth Choir with the gospel group Ukhonukamva Worship Choir.

"Don’t Hold Back is a really important philosophy for us”, says Michelle Odland, Global Business Director for Häagen-Dazs. “In an increasingly busy world full of pressures and expectations, we spend a lot of our life not being present. Time, genuineness, and real connection have become luxuries, as lives become simultaneously shared, but less open; connected, but lonely. The moments that stand out now are the ones where we let down our guard and let our authentic selves shine through. By saying “Don’t Hold Back”, we want to encourage people to let go and be truly present in a moment.”

Instead of taking the regular route of contracting a major celebrity, Häagen-Dazs employed street casting. The film features Japanese fashion icons Aya and Ami Suzuki, Swedish-Korean actress and director Nim Kyoung Ran Sundstrom, and UnFmiFve Dance Company as well as Lavender Hill SoEball Club, both from South Africa. It’s styled by Vogue championed designer Selam Fessahaye.