‘Kids’ Voices’: 5 Questions With Haribo USA VP Keith Danoff

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Haribo Kids' Voices Boardroom

Global candy brand Haribo is bringing its “Kids’ Voices” TV campaign in the US, which features a team of corporate execs in suits channeling their inner children when a package of Haribo gummy bears appears, is designed to bring out the childlike enthusiasm in all of us.

The campaign, which originally launched in the UK in 2014, was tailored for the US market by creative agency and production company Quiet Storm. The ad, which will run during the Academy Awards telecast on ABC, shows adults talking in kids’ voices in a formal boardroom environment about their love of Haribo’s Gold-Bears, which is the brand’s core product in the US.

Haribo is the world market leader in the gummi and licorice segment, Keith Danoff, VP of Marketing at Haribo of America, told brandchannel. Globally, Haribo produces 100 million Gold-Bears candies daily.

brandchannel spoke with Danoff about the “Kids’ Voices” campaign and how Haribo is promoting its iconic gummy bears in America.

brandchannel: How does this new US spot get to the heart of Haribo’s brand positioning? 

Keith Danoff Haribo

Keith Danoff: The “Kids’ Voices” campaign is all about capturing the childlike enthusiasm grown-ups, as well as the young, feel for the brand. This ad cleverly accomplishes that with adults speaking in the voices of children while sharing Haribo in a formal boardroom environment. It has standout simplicity and perfectly communicates our brand positioning.

brandchannel: It’s derived from a hit UK campaign—are you aiming for a similar target demo here?

Danoff: The UK campaign has been one of our most successful to date. It featured in Nielsen data as the most impactful FMCG advertising of 2015, so it made sense to roll it out across the US.

We are very pleased that Quiet Storm, who created the campaign and with whom we have had a very successful eight-year relationship in the UK, has the production expertise to help us take it into the US market.

As in the UK, with this ad we are targeting a broad demographic to communicate that Haribo brings out the childlike enthusiasm in us all.

Haribo Kids' Voices Boardroom

brandchannel: This focuses on the iconic Gold-Bears, but Haribo has so many variations, such as Tangfastic and Star Mix. How varied a product line do you offer in the US?

Danoff: While Haribo Gold-Bears are the core product in our portfolio, we offer many other varieties of products in the US such as Haribo Sour Gold-Bears, Twin Snakes, Happy Cola, Happy Cherries, Peaches and Berries.

Haribo

brandchannel: Is there a mistaken belief that Haribo is Japanese instead of German—and does its country of origin matter so much here?

Danoff: The company name is actually an acronym for the name of the company’s founder and the city in which the company was started. On December 13, 1920, Hans Riegel had the company name Haribo entered in the trade registry of the city of Bonn as an acronym of HAns RIegel BOnn.

Haribo

brandchannel: Haribo is credited with inventing the gummy bear. Is that a story that the brand plays up, especially with gummy bears being so huge these days—from lamps to chairs and beyond?

Danoff:  In 1922, the company’s founder, Hans Riegel invented the dancing bear—a bear-shaped figure made from gummi that would later be world famous as the legendary Haribo Gold-Bear. This dancing bear was inspired by the trained bears that were a fixed part of the festivities at annual markets and other celebrations well into the 19th century in Germany.


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