Give Freely


Introducing a new Valentine’s Day tradition in Japan

For Valentine’s Day 2018, we sparked conversation around the world by partnering with Mori Inc. and Godiva to invite women in Japan to “Give Freely” and celebrate the holiday however — and with whomever — they like.

Valentine’s Day traditions in Japan are unique. Only women give gifts, and they’re expected to buy “giri-choco” (literally, “obligation chocolate”) for all of their male colleagues. Unsurprisingly, many modern Japanese women find the tradition to be stressful, expensive and superficial.

The campaign kicked off with a bold full-page newspaper ad signed by Godiva Japan president Jérôme Chouchan, urging managers to give their female employees permission to rethink the giri-choco tradition. In stark contrast to rigorous Japanese traditions, the art direction was light, airy and contemporary. The art direction and illustration (developed in concert with Mori Inc.) was also featured in OOH, in-store and event signage.

The newspaper ad was followed by a :60 spot aimed at the women themselves. Shot in Tokyo by fashion star Charlotte Wales, it depicts the ultimate Galentine’s Day, following an immaculately stylish and charismatic posse of friends as they treat themselves and spread love with Godiva.

We also produced a playful complementary content series that ran on Instagram in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, featuring our posse and Godiva’s head chef.

The integrated campaign was a runaway success, sparking important conversations in Japan and garnering attention from major media companies around the world.