HERC’s international manifesto film for the chocolate brand that wants to make all chocolate 100% slave-free
Posted on 2020 Sep,16  | By Nils Adriaans

Tony's Chocolonely has been campaigning in a highly original way for slave-free chocolate (speaking of purpose) since its launch in 2005: it has a bar divided into uneven blocks because the chocolate industry is unfairly divided and milk chocolate with an ‘alarm-coloured’ red wrapper. But to this day there are still two million (!) children working illegally in the international cocoa industry. And that is extremely unfair.

Which is why this optimistic brand with an opinion now wants to reinforce its original ambitions internationally. Because although everyone in the Netherlands now knows Tony's Chocolonely (the brand has actually been market leader since 2018), not everyone abroad really knows the brand. Yes, they’re ‘colourful’ and have something to do with a good cause, but what exactly?

In a world that’s rapidly polarizing and increasingly demands outspoken points of view, Dutch independent agency HERC has made a creative manifesto for Tony’s with British actor, director and multi-talent Idris Elba as spoken word artist. To show exactly what the brand stands for: what’s unfair (and Tony’s and Idris strongly condemn) and what's fair, like the touching scene in the film: “Kids playing freely like a boss. Yes, fair.”


Full-on poppy

Rogier de Bruin, co-founder and Creative Director at HERC says: “Tony’s Chocolonely is a brilliant brand with a wonderful, very special mission. With the ambition to introduce and spread their message in other markets, they wanted a clear manifesto that would articulate and visualise their motto Crazy about chocolate, serious about people.

“So we translated the ‘brand” – Tony’s doesn’t advertise – Into a number of contrasting ‘fair’ and ‘unfair’ scenes. Just like Tony’s: both happy and serious at the same time.”

Emilio de Haan, also co-founder and Creative Director at HERC explains: “And why Idris Elba? He fits the brand perfectly. His mother is from Ghana, along with the Ivory Coast, the main producer of cocoa beans. And he wanted to do it: he’s passionate about helping improve lives there, so the mission is one that really appeals to him (plus we’re secretly a bit in love with him, Idris is in almost all our presentations – including our first presentation to Tony’s.)

“In spoken word form, in combination with Afropunk, he’s the voice for Tony’s Chocolonely in the manifesto. The film is maximum poppy – in clothing, grading, camera work, mixed-image styles, you name it. Just like Tony's energy: full-on colourful.”


Happy activist

De Bruin adds: “It’s fantastic, especially in this day and age, to be able to fully apply our approach to a happy activist, a cheerful brand that’s doing something good for the world. And it was also great to be collaborating again with Thecla Schaeffer, with whom we worked before. We have a shared taste in popular culture: we both follow very closely what’s currently happening in terms of movements, styles, and opinions. That’s really stimulating.”

Thecla Schaeffer, CMO at Tony’s Chocolonely comments: “For me, it’s quite simple: HERC understands the cultural zeitgeist like no other agency and knows how to translate communication strategies into colourful, distinctive creative work. Which is exactly what Tony’s Chocolonely needs.”

Credits HERC for Tony’s Chocolonely ‘UNFAIR/FAIR’

Creative agency: HERC the agency

Creative Director: Rogier de Bruin & Emilio de Haan

Account Director: Niels Heimens

Agency Producer: Kiek Beljaars

Choco monster animation: Brian Elstak

Title design: Joëlle Strijk

Mural design: Franko Rosas

Chocolate shots: Chuck Studios

Production: Division Paris

Director: Helmi

Director of Photography: Deepa Keshvala

Executive Producer: Theo Gall

Edit: Antonin Brones (Division)/ Etienne Gueriaux (Machine Molle) / Brian Ent (Kapsalon)

Grading: Arthur Paux

Post Production: Machine Molle

Styling: Jill Gattegno

Set producer: Alliochia Madeuf

Music: Tshegue

Narrative: Rogier de Bruin x Idris Elba

Voice over: Idris Elba

Sound design: Audentity / Niels den Otter

Music Supervisor: Pitch & Sync London

Client: Tony’s Chocoloney

Thecla Schaeffer - Marketing Magic Maker (Head of Marketing)

Sabrina Spong - Movement Lead Marketing

Nadine de Ridder – Creative Strategist

Martijn Beenen - Project Manager

Check out Tony’s Petition for 100% responsibility