Cartwright and Lena Waithe Redefine Luxury for Häagen-Dazs

Here's the scoop on #ThatsDazs

Häagen-Dazs is partnering with producer/screenwriter/actress Lena Waithe to provide diverse creators with opportunities for self-expression and professional development.

Through a multifaceted initiative dubbed #ThatsDazs, the premium ice cream is pledging $1.5 million over the next three years to organizations that support marginalized and underrepresented artists and tastemakers. This includes a $100,000 grant to Waithe's Hillman Grad Productions Mentorship Lab, which helps such folks connect and explore careers in the entertainment industry.

Waithe will also serve up social content and identify brand ambassadors.


A post shared by Lena Waithe (@lenawaithe)

What's more, Häagen-Dazs engaged dancers, photographers, chefs and other influencers to explain what luxury means to them. Of course, the brand has long made luxe pitches, but is now redefining luxury itself as a state of mind for the masses.

Here are some examples, from Instagrammers @JadePurpleBrown, @SupaMontalvo and @StyleCrone:


A post shared by Bboy Victor (@supamontalvo)


A post shared by Judith Boyd (@stylecrone)

"Our aim was shifting Häagen-Dazs from product-first to to culture-first," targeting millennials and Gen Z, as opposed to boomers and Gen X, says Keith Cartwright, chief creative officer at Cartwright, which developed the campaign.

He describes the approach as a natural evolution for a brand that has long portrayed itself as a "a small luxury that was created for everyone to enjoy."

"But luxury doesn't have to feel so serious anymore," Cartwright says. "Playfulness is a part of the Häagen-Dazs personality they hadn't revealed so far. After all, it was created by a couple from the Bronx, who made up a 'Danish' brand name they thought sounded fancy."

With that legacy in mind, "we worked to assure that the global icon could explore its playful side and appeal to all generations and cultural trends," he says.

The half-minute spot below from MJZ director Dexter Navy sports sweet, sweet swagger, with Midnight Magic's chill dance track "Beam Me Up" mixed in.

Luxury is where you are

"When we talked about the way the brand should show up, we agreed it was important to be diverse and inclusive, that luxury should be for everyone," says client marketing director Rachel Jaiven. " 'That's Dazs' represents this idea. It's not centered in only one definition. It can be defined however someone wants to define it—catching a moment with friends, breakdancing, creating art or dressing in your own unique style."

Ultimately, Häagen-Dazs seeks recognition "as a brand for all people, all ages, all races and more," she says.


Bernard Tual Chief Marketing Officer (Froneri)
Alicia Munday Global Marketing Manager (Froneri)
Elizabell Marquez Chief Marketing Officer (Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream)
Rachel Jaiven Marketing Director (Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream)
Meg Sutula Senior Brand Manager (Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream)
Carey Valentine Associate Brand Manager (Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream)

Keith Cartwright CCO
Suzanne Sherwood Creative Director
Lydia Dunay Creative Director
Thiago Gripp Creative Director
Chelsea Ceasor Art Director
Taylor Whitelow Copywriter
Andrew Loevenguth Head of Integrated Production
Marie Massat Head of Brand
Carla Caban Account Supervisor
John Graham Head of Strategy
Aya Watanabe Senior Strategist

Dexter Navy Director
David Zander President
Eriks Krumins Executive Producer
Janet Nowased Head of Production
Karen O'Brien Line Producer

Chris Catanach Editor
Lauren Bleiweiss Executive Producer
Cayle Banz Producer
Roy Herbert Assistant Editor

Color / Post / Mix
Color – Absolute Post
Matt Turner Colorist
Belinda Grew Executive Producer
Conform / Post - MPC
Rob Ufer Lead Flame Artist
Stephanie Allis Sr. Producer
Elexis Stearn Executive Producer

Mix - Lime Studios
Loren Silber Mixer
Susie Boyajan Executive Producer

"Beam Me Up" – Midnight Magic

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is managing editor at Clio Awards.

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