OGILVY GERMANY, Frankfurt / MILKA / 2022

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Why is this work relevant for Music Entertainment?

Through the collaboration of Milka and the rapper NIMO a rap song was created to advertise Milka. But it was done in a subliminal way, without being awkward. The song didn’t sound like an endorsement ad. It stayed true to NIMO’s style and didn’t advertise any product or mentioned Milka explicitly in the lyrics even once. That’s why it was liked and praised for its authenticity by the hip-hop community. While being essentially an ad, the song made it to the top of different charts and stood out from all the other of hip-hop songs with its positive, tender message.


Hip-Hop is one of the most popular music genres among the youth in Germany. However, it’s often packed with violent and hateful lyrics. That's why Milka, Germany's most tender chocolate, decided to act. Milka wanted to disrupt the overly aggressive hip-hop scene with an unexpected tender message that will encourage hip-hop fans to be more tender and empathic. With this collaboration, Milka also wanted to rejuvenate the brand, effectively connecting with the hard-to-reach younger audience that lost an emotional connection with the brand and perceived it as nostalgic and not relevant in the modern-day conversation.

Describe the creative idea

The idea, titled “Explicit Tenderness,” was to “tenderize” German Rap by sending a message of empathy into an overly harsh and untender rap scene. To achieve that Milka decided to create a rap song that would stand out with its powerful tender message from all the other rap songs that usually contain hateful and violent lyrics.

Describe the strategy

How could Milka reconnect with younger consumers who thought it’s stale or even worse – irrelevant? Consumers are only influenced by recommendations from friends; and are selective about what they choose to download on their phones or to engage with on their social feeds. Milka knew it needed a culturally relevant way to connect with these hard-to-reach consumers, without them feeling like a brand was trying to connect with them. So, Milka set out to infiltrate their playlists and feeds by partnering with an iconic, contemporary artist to embed its brand view via a song they’d seek out, download and share.Milka decided to launch a new track in the most popular (#1 in Germany) and the least tender genre of music it could find: rap. So, Milka partnered with an ex-prisoner, turned family man, rapper NIMO, who shared Milka’s brand vision about putting a little more tenderness into the world.

Describe the execution

Milka is Germany’s most tender chocolate, whose brand purpose is to encourage people to be tender towards each other. Therefore, it needed a rap song that would clearly send the brand’s message, without sounding commercial. Milka also needed to find a credible rapper who would dare to release a rap song with such an unusual, tender message. Eventually, Milka teamed up with NIMO, an authentic rapper with criminal past, who wanted to turn his public image around. He wrote a song about empathy, called “ZART,” which means ‘tender’ in German. The song was released on Spotify. “Bro, be tender, be tender, be tender” were the lyrics, which perfectly delivered the main message of the song. In addition, a music video was produced and published on YouTube. In the video, different unexpected acts of tenderness were shown as an embodiment of the song’s message.

Describe the outcome

With “Explicit Tenderness” Milka managed to send a strong and refreshing message of empathy into a harsh rap scene. The song was praised by hip-hop fans for its authenticity, sparking a conversation about empathy in an overly aggressive German rap world. Overnight, Milka became a part of pop culture, as the song “ZART” generated a total of 253M impressions across different media. The music video has been viewed 2,5M times on YouTube during the first week and trended on the launch day. It also trended #1 on TikTok, with over 30,000 user-generated videos and over 10M views. It was the 3rd most-streamed hip-hop track of the day on Spotify and has currently over 25M streams. But most impressively, “ZART” made it to the Top 20 of Official German Single-Charts. Not less important, “ZART” helped Milka to reach its younger target audience and revive its brand image.

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