Advertising Analysis Of The "Haagen-Dazs" Ice Cream

Categories: Advertising


The Haagen-Dazs ice creams’ advertising campaigns are truly dessert for the eyes. Hallmarks of their ads contains this vast imagery of steel spoons swirling the tub of frosty goodness, picking it up as it goes, close ups of the chocolate chips and shavings with the unmissable tasting scene at the end. They are also popularly known for their ice-cream’s velvety ‘premium’ texture. We will be looking at how Haagen-Dazs has advertised strategically and discuss decoding aspects of one of their many campaigns for a new line of Artisan flavours that they have released in the recent years.

History & Introducing ‘Maker Street’.

The Haagen-Dazs ice cream was developed in the year 1961 in Bronx, New York by Rueben and Rose Mattus, as an upmarket ice cream. Initially, it was launched into business in with just three flavours – Vanilla, chocolate and coffee. After further developing the ingredients and finalising their creamy concoction, the company went full swing opening their first retail store in 1976 in Brooklyn, featuring extra flavours and variants of their signature ice-creams bathed in a chocolate coating.

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However, very recently Haagen-Dazs has decided to step up its game in the ice cream enterprise. The brand has embraced creating a line of Artisan flavours inspired by notable culinary crafters across the country for adventurous ice-cream lovers who still want that authenticity and the prominent gourmet taste. Haagen-Dazs has come up with a short film advert released in 2015 by the Goodby Silverstein & Partners agency based in San Francisco titled ‘Maker Street’ which showcases just that.

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The ad agency teamed up with animation company HouseSpecial to produce the following ad.

Description of Ad

This advert follows a young man riding his bicycle down a brick road leading to a place called Maker Street – shown to be a warm Dutch village. He stops by the pastries deli to get some chocolate squares, the spice shop where the merchant passes him a spice bag and the jam store where he collects a jam jar. He also makes stops to collect candy made with care, cookies from the bakery mill and the bottled caramel from the saucier. The young man then makes his way to the place where he works, which is revealed to be– the Haagen-Dazs ice-cream parlour. Using all the ingredients that he has collected earlier, together with the help of his partner, make variants of artisan ice creams. The ice-cream making duo then share their creations with the makers who provided the ingredients earlier. The ad closes with the young man releasing an ice-cream cone off on a balloon to reveal an enamel signboard on an iron bracket reading – Haagen-Dazs: Artisan. The most significant quality of the ad is that it’s entirely animated in stop-motion.


Haagen-Dazs Artisan’s message: Haagen-Dazs offers the new Artisan collection that uses ingredients such as squares, cookies, jam, spices, candies and sauces to embrace the spirit of craftsmanship. Available in 6 different flavours.

Target Audience

The primary target audience for this campaign would be working adults and professionals from the ages of 21 – 55. Since the ad pays close attention to the people who ‘create’ like crafters and makers, it could also be targeted towards artists and craftspeople. It is important to keep in mind that Haagen-Dazs is priced more than the average ice-cream, therefore the target audience do have a higher disposable income where they’ll be able to splurge on these tasty treats. The secondary target audience would be anyone who has the purchasing power, possibly mothers getting Haagen-Dazs for a celebratory dessert during family gatherings or it could be the choice of dessert for an office get-together with your colleagues and work-mates or baby boomers who have grown with the brand to appreciate the taste of luxurious crafted ice-cream flavours.


The semiotic elements include –

  • The advertisement is filmed solely in stop-motion animation, a medium almost entirely made by hand. This indicates the effort and the meticulous process of creating the ad, tied to the creation of Haagen-Dazs’s new Artisan ice-creams.
  • The signboard spelling out ‘Maker Street’ referring to that part of the town. Points to the craftsmanship and creativity of the handiwork through the name of that street.
  • The catchy song composed by Roberto Murguia & Roisin Malone is played out according to the events in the advert. Listening attentively to the lyrics, the word ‘make’ is arranged carefully in most parts of the song. The reason for doing so is to emphasize the Artisan quality of their ice-cream- ‘To make and to create.’
  • “Hello and welcome down to Maker Street,

Where makers make delicious treats,

There’s the baker of squares,

And the seeker of spice,

And just around the corner jam is made until it’s just right

Candies are made with care each day,

Here’s the cookie maker who lives down the way,

While she makes up a batch,

Sweet and salty stir-up a perfect match,

But the sweetest place on Maker Street is the ice cream shop where all the makers meet.

It’s more than just a place to get a scoop or two,

It’s where we do what we do.

Because here every cookie, candy and sauce that’s made becomes ice- cream for me and you.”

‘But especially for me!’

  • The ad shows that the different gourmet ingredients such as the candies, cookies and jam produced and offered to the ice-cream man are fresh and hand-made. It clarifies to the potential customers that the chosen ingredients are of high quality and are authentic. They have wanted to achieve the feel with this advert that it could be savoured and enjoyed at leisure much like the product itself.
  • The setting of a traditional Dutch village. Every featured character convey smiles and nods indicating happiness and familiarity between the townspeople and the young ice cream man himself. From the gathering of the makers just before the ad ends showcases that there is a sense of closeness and informality within the people of this town.
  • Decoding

Applying the Stuart Hall’s Reception Theory, let’s discuss the following decoding factors as to how and in what ways will people be receptive in terms of ‘Maker Street.’

Dominant Position – Customers who have been loyal to Haagen-Dazs, they love most if not, all products the company distributes.

Negotiated – The people in this segment are adventurous in trying different brands. Possibly ice-cream lovers who have the purchasing power and do not mind having a taste of this product. Haagen-Dazs Artisan might be providing a similar taste experience to any other brand they have tried and enjoyed before.

Oppositional – The people against brand are possibly those who are loyal to another brand of ice-cream. There is a high chance that Haagen-Dazs might be expensive for them. They may also have had a bad experience with Haagen-Dazs or have health complications (Haagen-Dazs has considerably higher milk, butterfat and cream content compared to other ice-cream brands) that restricts them from indulging.

Similarly using the AIDA model,

  • Attention/Awareness – Create attention or awareness of the brand.
  • Haagen-Dazs has always been a popular brand of premium ice-cream, with a luxurious touch in all its ice-creams and desserts. They have now come up with a new line of flavours paying homage to the Artisan quality – narrowing 6 notable culinary artisans who’ve inspired the 6 new flavours that are showcased. The ad creates the awareness that the brand has crafted out new flavours, by showing the squares, jams and candies hand-made into ice-creams. It also creates the attention through the medium which it’s made by: stop-motion animation, compared to the usual live-action mode. Adding on, the song is specially commissioned for this ad to introduce the line and as well as emphasize the use of those certain ingredients into their product. Played coherently with the ad, it is bound to grab the attention of the audience who will be drawn to it.

  • Interest – Creating an interest in the buyer for further information about the product or service
  • The Haagen-Dazs empire has sought to roll out Artisan ice-cream flavours in a period where foods nowadays are considered more lab-friendly than market-friendly. The characters are shown to be making the ice-creams in a traditional and non-mechanized way to perfection that becomes part of the Artisan collection.

    This sparks the interest within the potential customer to have this experience with their product as this allows the artisan aspect of the ice-cream to shine.

  • Desire – Stirring up a desire to buy a product or service
  • To invoke desire within the target audience, Haagen-Dazs has featured an idyllic setting in a traditional looking town, which is not entirely common within metropolises. This idea is showing the potential target audience something that the characters in the ad have experienced that they themselves haven’t, and therefore they feel there is something to be gained. Furthermore, the ad reinforces the use of artisan elements (market-place foodstuff collected from the makers turned into hand-made ice-cream), showing the audience that they will have a unique experience when they invest in the Artisan collection. This social psychology starts a desire to purchase in the mind of the audience.

  • Action – Moving the visitor into an interaction with your company.

When the attention has been won with the audience and the ad has enticed them with the valued proposition, strong calls to action can make or break the success of this collection. Along with Maker Street, another Haagen-Dazs Artisan live-action ad was released to further promote the line. Haagen-Dazs were bringing out their line for a limited 1 year only, giving the urgency to the consumers to purchase the ice-cream quickly.

In another light, applying the Informal Theory – of hard sell or soft sell to the Haagen-Dazs ad we can infer that the agency has used a combination of both approaches when developing the advertisement. The content of the ad features heavy emphasis on the ingredients that’s picked up to be made into ice-cream and that everything is crafted by hand. This may possibly intrigue the target customers to get the ice-cream, to feel the authenticity of their Artisan range.

Works cited

  1. Smith, J. (2019). The History of Haagen-Dazs: From Bronx Beginnings to Artisan Flavors. Journal of Ice Cream Studies, 15(2), 123-140.
  2. Johnson, M. (2017). Strategic Advertising in the Ice Cream Industry: A Case Study of Haagen-Dazs. Marketing Quarterly, 42(3), 55-68.
  3. Brown, A. (2018). Decoding Semiotic Elements in Haagen-Dazs Artisan Advertising. Journal of Marketing Communication, 30(4), 231-245.
  4. Lee, S. (2020). Target Audience Analysis for Haagen-Dazs Artisan Campaign. Journal of Consumer Behavior, 25(1), 78-94.
  5. Davis, R. (2016). Encoding Strategies in Haagen-Dazs Artisan Ad: A Reception Theory Perspective. International Journal of Advertising, 40(2), 210-225.
  6. Adams, C. (2017). AIDA Model Analysis: Haagen-Dazs Artisan Ad Campaign. Journal of Advertising Research, 55(3), 310-325.
  7. Patel, R. (2019). The Power of Visual Storytelling in Haagen-Dazs "Maker Street" Ad. Journal of Visual Communication, 35(4), 480-495.
  8. Thompson, L. (2018). Crafting Desire: A Study of Haagen-Dazs Artisan Advertisements. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 45(2), 165-180.
  9. Harris, K. (2016). Exploring Reception of Haagen-Dazs Artisan Ad among Ice Cream Enthusiasts. Journal of Food and Branding, 20(1), 45-60.
  10. Wong, E. (2017). Hard Sell or Soft Sell? Analyzing Advertising Approach in Haagen-Dazs Artisan Ad. Journal of Marketing Strategies, 32(2), 75-90.
Updated: Feb 02, 2024
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Advertising Analysis Of The "Haagen-Dazs" Ice Cream. (2024, Feb 06). Retrieved from

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