Cannes Lions

Give Freely

MORI, Tokyo / GODIVA / 2018

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We invited women to “Give Freely,” celebrating Valentine’s Day however — and with whomever — they like.

The campaign boldly kicked off with a newspaper ad featuring a signed message from the president of Godiva Japan advocating for an end to the giri-choco tradition.

We followed with an anthem film celebrating the modern Japanese woman. Shot in Tokyo by fashion star Charlotte Wales, it depicts the ultimate “Galentine’s Day,” featuring an immaculately stylish and charismatic posse of friends, Japanese influencers Ai Uchiyama, CHLOE, and Emi Matsushima, as they treat themselves and spread love with Godiva.

The campaign included OOH print materials, an anthem film, 14 social films and events.


In order to achieve the best result, we devised ways of communicating effectively with a variety of target audiences in a multitude of spaces. For the bold newspaper ad placement, we chose Nikkei (an economic newspaper similar to the WSJ or Financial Times) as it is read by most managers at work. To encourage women to celebrate the holiday freely, we ran a TV commercial and posted a series of Instagram videos sending the message, “This Valentine’s Day, Give Freely.”


Godiva’s move to jeopardize their own sales was received positively around the world, and resulted in coverage on TV networks, including public broadcast. Godiva’s most controversial investment was a single page of newspaper; however, total Japanese media coverages reached over 9 million dollars. One company even decided to hang the newspaper ad as a poster in the office. News of this campaign was tweeted over 110k times on the first day, followed by a large amount of public engagement and comments giving Godiva praise for its brave act. Most importantly, the ad created a movement to stop giri choco at work.

The campaign, which also included social, OOH, and event marketing, was a runaway success, sparking important conversations in Japan and garnering international attention from major media companies like Forbes, The Financial Times, and AdWeek, with total readership of 182 million and an estimated 189K pageviews.

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