If staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic has taught people anything about dining, perhaps it’s that a pint of ice cream is best enjoyed while dancing around in one’s underwear. Sure, it’s something people may have done before shelter-in-place became the norm, but it takes on new meaning when there’s little else to do and no reason to go out.
Halo Top’s new campaign showcases a woman enjoying her pint of the lower-calorie, higher-protein ice cream while strutting her stuff around her apartment. The concepts of letting go, enjoying dessert and ignoring the pressures of the world could work at other times, but the work was shot in mid-May and has a bit of a COVID-19 ad feel.
“Stop Shoulding Yourself” is Halo Top’s first major campaign since it was acquired by Wells Enterprises in September. It comes from its new agency of record, Deloitte Digital’s Heat, which also works with the Wells brand Bomb Pop.
In the “Dance” spot, a woman is shown happily ignoring the “should” messages that might run through her mind, such as whether she “should” lose weight, work out more, eat more salads, and skip dessert, as she prances around to a tune by Mama Haze. The dining dancer stops in her tracks as a woman spots her from her own apartment window. After a brief pause, she goes right back to her dancing and eating her Halo Top.
“Our fans put a lot of pressure on themselves, and both men and women alike struggle with the ‘shoulds’ in their lives, especially around body image and food choices,” Shilpa Gadhok, senior brand manager, Halo Top, said in a statement. “Here at Halo Top, we want to help our fans to stop ‘shoulding’ themselves by giving them a moment in their day when they can simply feel good and rejoice in who they are and what makes them happiest while enjoying dessert.”
Halo Top's choice of a curvy woman sends a strong body positivity message for a packaged food marketer, especially one that rose to prominence by touting its low-calorie flavors. The concept came about pre-COVID-19. Then, the agency had to come up with a way to bring it to life while the world was on a bit of a lockdown. Heat handled the work fully remotely, shooting in Slovenia in mid-May with safety measures in place on set, and a virtual video village keeping an eye on the process.
The campaign is the latest in a series of new approaches for Halo Top, which rocked the ice cream industry with its calories-per-pint approach, building a bit of a cult following and soon seeing numerous competitors launching similar lines. In 2017, it ran digital ads from Red Tettemer O'Connell & Partners featuring an angel versus devil theme, then followed those up with a 90-second film shot by Mike Diva showing a woman being force-fed vanilla ice cream by a robot. In March 2019, Halo Top declared itself to be “ice cream for adults” in a campaign featuring a chatty guy in an ice cream truck, which came from 72andSunny and was the brand’s first national TV campaign.