Haagen-Dazs supports cause

US - Haagen-Dazs "Save the Honey Bee" 2008 campaign.


Haagen-Dazs used a Public Agenda vehicle to help reclaim falling market share, create a bond between their brand and consumers, and truly differentiate themselves from their competitors. That vehicle turned out to be the honeybee.


Ice cream maker Haagen-Dazs found itself in a predicament. Not only was their market share threatened by competitors, price hikes were hurting sales. On top of this, consumers had little connection with the brand.

It was clear that Haagen-Dazs needed to reinvigorate their brand and re-establish themselves in the market in order to reclaim sales momentum.

The biggest threat facing Haagen-Dazs, however, is beyond their control. Haagen-Dazs depends on bee pollination for more than 40% of its flavours. But the honey bee population have been mysteriously disappearing. With no bees there would be no natural flavours, spelling the end of Haagen-Dazs.

Marketing solution

Research identified Haagen-Dazs customers as being conscious about what they eat and where it comes from. With this in mind, Haagen-Dazs linked their product’s core ingredient to one of the most biting social issues the extinction of the honey bee.

With a little more than $1 million, Haagen-Dazs launched the HD loves HB campaign. As the essence of this campaign was to generate thought and discussions about the social issue, every promotional vehicle used intended to be a catalyst for a conversation with the consumer.

The campaign was multi-faceted, including a donation to research bee disappearances, a new “Vanilla Honey Bee” ice cream, and branding a HD loves HB logo on all ‘Haagen-Dazs’ bee-dependent flavours. Social media, advertorials were also used to promote their initiative, along with the first-ever plantable, seed-embedded newspaper insert ad, allowing readers to literally take the cause into their hands.

Haagen Dazs Plantable article


  • Unaided brand awareness increased from 29% to 36%.
  • At launch, baseline sales of Haagen-Dazs increased 5.2% in April 2008 ($ volume).
  • Consumers increased Haagen-Dazs’ donation by 16.2% – $US 40,632 total.

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