Cannes Lions

The Extraordinary Honey Bee

REACH, Santa Monica, Ca / HAAGEN DAZS / 2018

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Overview

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Overview

Description

The core idea was to use cutting-edge VR technology to create a CGI bee who has emotions and interacts with viewers, taking them on a breathtaking flight to learn about the bees’ impact on our world, their endangered status and how we can change to save them. It not only explains the story behind the extinction of honey bees, but it immerses viewers in the drama of the issue, helping create a deeply felt empathy for the bees themselves.

The film sets a standard for more brands to create content about something their consumers care about without making the product the focus. Häagen-Dazs was a patron not a sponsor of this story. The message of the film is clear: save the honey bees. For Häagen-Dazs this is more than marketing. Without honey bees, some of our most popular flavors like Swiss Vanilla Almond, Strawberry and Rocky Road would not exist.

Execution

This film uses cutting-edge VR technology and equipment to bring the bee’s story to life. Not only did we shrink down to the size of a bee and fly him over almond fields, but we created a CGI bee who has emotions, animates, and interacts with viewers. Distribution was another challenge for this film. Given that the platform is relatively new, there wasn’t a clear way to reach a scaled audience with media. We had to find another way for our film to be seen. Also we had no paid media to get it seen. This is why we chose to find partners with their own VR platforms who would help us reach mass audiences. Through their existing channels and built in audiences, we were able to build the awareness and viewership the film deserved, distributing “The Extraordinary Honey Bee” across HTC and Google platforms.

Outcome

Ultimately our goal is change farming practices and increase consumer awareness to save pollinators. Through our distribution partnerships, we expect to “The Extraordinary Honey Bee” to reach over 17 million people organically across HTC, Daydream, and Google platforms. During the Häagen-Dazs brand’s annual Free Cone Day, the film was leveraged in support of all communications and press efforts to save the bees, sharing information in 175 shops, and asking shop goers to pay it forward by planting seeds to create their own native habitats for bees in their communities.

The film was previewed in at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year in addition to being a part of brand press efforts on March 12th, National Plant a Flower Day. Other educational programs have reached out asking to include the film in their learning programs, for example, Art of Danube, an NGO from Freiburg Germany that protects endangered animals.

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