That Godiva Chocolate “Bar” Commercial with The Voice of Hercule Poirot
As I understood it, M. Poirot particularly loved to get comfortable in his dressing gown and slippers with his chocolates and his wine on cold, wintry nights, and read. Sounds like a plan, doesn’t it? Stuart Elliott at the New York Times replied to a reader on November 22 that it was indeed the voice of the erstwhile Belgian from the PBS series.
Indeed, dear reader, that is exactly who it is, says Alana Radmin, a spokeswoman for Godiva.
“Godiva chose a Belgian accent and old-world music, which was custom-made for this commercial, to highlight its European and Belgian heritage,” Ms. Radmin, a vice president at the Godiva public relations agency, Alison Brod Public Relations, writes in an e-mail.
“Because many consumers do not stay glued to their television during commercial breaks,” she says, “Godiva thought the accent and music would serve as a quick sound cue to its heritage.”
Godiva also believes “the uniqueness of the voice and music will break through and trigger a recall for consumers when they see Godiva in-store,” Ms. Radmin says. [...]
David Suchet, the actor who has been playing Hercule Poirot for 11 seasons, apparently recorded the voice-over here, at a studio near Marbella, Spain.
From The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in a syndicated article from the Times, which showed how advertisers in this economy are making products like cake mixes, soft drinks, and soups and even chocolates appeal to cash-strapped shoppers during the holiday season:
For Christmas 2010, Godiva chocolate is adding television to its campaign, which had run only in magazines and stores. A commercial plays up the brand’s Belgian heritage by using the actor David Suchet – who portrayed Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s Belgian detective – as the voice-over announcer.
“The time was right to be moving onto TV,” said Lauri Kien Kotcher, chief marketing officer and senior vice president for global brand development at Godiva Chocolatier in New York, part of the Ulker Group unit of Yildiz Holding.
The reason was the broader distribution for the brand as a result of a new line, Godiva Gems, which is priced lower than traditional Godiva offerings.
To underline the message that Gems help make Godiva “more accessible,” Kien Kotcher said, the ads show hundreds of pieces of chocolate and carry the theme “May your life be filled with Godiva.” The campaign is being created by the Acme Idea Co. in South Norwalk, Conn.
“The core of the strategy is ‘Don’t save your Godiva for a special occasion two or three times a year,'” said Scott Kulok, creative head at Acme, because, “is there not a special occasion every day?”
Really, there can be. Chocolates and fruit were always presents in the old days, and if there is only that, it is enough. Chocolate was presented to malnourished children and adults by GIs during World War II. I love Godiva, but I also like the chocolate bars at Willy Street Coop, too, many of which are the real deal chocolate and from European sources. To each his/her own. And there are many other wonderful tastes of chocolates, luxury and affordable. And good for you too, within reason, with all those antioxidants. And there are more benefits. As Wikipedia states, “A study reported by the BBC indicated that melting chocolate in one’s mouth produced an increase in brain activity and heart rate that was more intense than that associated with passionate kissing, and also lasted four times as long after the activity had ended.” While it may not be an aphrodisiac, it certainly makes some people, and more often women, a bit happier.
There will plenty of time, hemmed in by snow, that one can make things warmer and more bearable at the end of the year and raise hopes just a touch at the beginning of the new one.
One last thing, the girl in the commercial also makes me think of Audrey Tautou’s Amélie in The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain. Talk about punching several buttons at a time. In a way, by selling this product, she may change some people’s lives for the better for a few hours or day or so. Maybe that’s all it takes.
- Godiva Chocolate and Its History (proflowers.com:80)
- David Suchet brings curtain down on Poirot (telegraph.co.uk)
- Suchet set for final Poirot films (bbc.co.uk)
- Perfume for Hercule Poirot : On Fictional Characters and Fragrance (boisdejasmin.typepad.com)