Tony's Chocolonely creates a film supporting its 100% slave free chocolate with happy activism

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Tony's Chocolonely creates a film supporting its 100% slave free chocolate with happy activism

The Background

Tony's Chocolonely is 100% slave free. Not all chocolate is.

The problem is that currently, the chocolate supply chain isn't fair. The chain starts with millions of farmers who produce cocoa and ends with the billions of consumers who enjoy chocolate. But the bit in the middle is dominated by a handful of chocolate giants, some of which profit from keeping the price of cocoa as low as possible. As a result, many farmers are forced to live in poverty. And that leads to illegal child labour and modern slavery.

This company's mission is to, together, make 100% slave-free chocolate the norm. It's a complex issue with a complex solution but one they are pursuing by leading by example.

I chose this campaign for a couple of reasons.

One. It’s technically more than an ad. It’s a film that’s at the pointy end of a mission with a clear call to action.

And two. I bloody love the brand. And the product. Or is it the other way around? I don’t know. But what I do know is that I watched it with more than a touch of trepidation.

Please be good, I thought.

And it is.

The Big Idea

An exciting, bold, assault of colour and artistic direction quite unlike any chocolate ad you’ve ever seen before; in your life.

The film seeks to highlight the unfair sides of the cocoa industry but with an energy and aesthetic that stays true to its ‘happy activist’ stance.

A sort of anti-ad-that-makes-a-great-ad by a brand that doesn’t really do ads. 

Okay, so the ‘this, never that’ treatment is nothing new, but it’s brought to life with punchy copywriting and even punchier visuals to make it feel like a genuine manifesto. 

And you believe it. 

I much prefer this to the 'here’s the story of our founder's and 'how we came to exist' alternative that they may have explored.

The colour palette, animations, and transitions feel as wonderfully chaotic as the uneven ‘squares’ that constitute the bar itself (representing this aforementioned inequality), but at the same time, it just works, never letting your attention wander for a second.

The Review

Personally, I’d have preferred an alternative and more interesting voiceover to the pretty over-familiar tones of Idris Elba. 

But that’s probably just me. 

As it is, he does undoubtedly lend a sense of clout.

But, all in all, a committed, energetic and purposeful presentation of an industry that allows for unfair practices that genuinely affect people's lives. 

In its light-hearted way, it raises the important questions and makes us all think about what we buy and where it comes from. 

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James Hoyle

James Hoyle

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