Magnum wastes 10 tonnes of chocolate in freakish publicity stunt

Posted by in Chocolate News on May 4 2011 | Leave A Comment

A few weeks ago, I was invited to the re-launch of Magnum Ecuador. The chocolate covered ice cream has been around a while, but the chocolate is now Rainforest Alliance certified, and Magnum have been making a big deal about using real, ethically sourced chocolate. All good stuff.

And then they sent us the press release for the monstrosity above. For some inexplicable reason they got together with Karl Lagerfeld and chocolatier Patrick Roger to create a hotel suite made out of 10.5 tonnes of chocolate. Including a very scary looking chocolate man.

Leaving aside the fact that the whole thing looks like something out of a bad horror film, this is an extraordinary waste that completely undermines any argument that Unilever (producers of Magnum) are in any way interested in promoting real, sustainable chocolate production.

Perhaps I’m being overly grumpy, but this in my opinion, sums up everything that’s wrong with mass produced chocolate. When cocoa farmers of the world struggle to get by, this kind of over-the-top wasteful indulgence makes my heart sink.

I’ve no idea how much it cost, but I do know the money would have been better spent being invested in the cocoa farming communities and co-operatives that work so hard for so little reward.

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Comments On This Post

  1. Vincent

    Isn’t buying 10.5 tonnes of chocolate investing in cocoa production?

  2. It’s creepy! But creative I guess…

  3. I cant figure out if I agree or not – they invested in the chocolate, so therefore, assuming it’s Rainforest Alliance, all good…. but the waste is enormous and inexcusable.

    • Dom (Chocablog Staff)

      Any waste of food annoys me.

      This is probably made with cheap West African cocoa beans. The average age of a cocoa farmer there is greater than the average life expectancy (the rewards are so low, people just don’t want to do it), meaning that cocoa production could very easily die out unless we start to value the work that goes into producing it.

      Even if they are investing in the industry by buying the chocolate for it, I just don’t think it fits with a campaign to promote Magnum as ethical and sustainable.

      Also, chocolate guy creeps me out.

  4. I’ve always found these sorts of stunts distasteful. I don’t care for things that are sold as “largest in the world” or “most expensive” and certainly not statues made out of edible things. Like you, I think that if you’ve gone to all the trouble to grow and harvest something that’s incredibly difficult/rare, you’d better use it properly.

    I don’t know who that chocolate guy is supposed to appeal to, because I also find it squicky.

  5. Lora

    If it wasn’t for the enormous waste I’d find this laughable. Why have they given a guy with a chocolate ‘skintone’ caucasian features? Why is he eating ice cream in his pants? ..and why does the ultra modern room have a granny bedspread?

  6. I agree. This is a disgusting waste. Not clever. Not beautiful. Not delicious.

  7. Yes, they kind of missed the point didn’t they? The parent company just isn’t quite at the heart of the issue, I think. Which we probably already knew…

  8. Great publicity stunt! I will now not buy anything by Walls or with that swirly symbol. Just remind me again. How many people are starving in the world?

  9. As a female I’m offended by the placing of the magnum.

  10. It’s gross!

    But I laughed out loud when I saw the strategically placed Magnum. My sister told me that chocolate advertisers only want you to think ‘sex’ when you watch, nothing more complicated than that. Think about the Lindt one, with the unfeasibly handsome chocolatier. This time, they’ve missed the mark in so many ways and that’s just one of them.

  11. Ben

    Yeah, it’s creepy but it’s still advertising. They would have bought the chocolate from the farmers in the first place (it’s not like they said, ‘yah, we need this chocolate for free as it’s for our chocolate hotel room’). Then by having people like yourself blog about it (even if it’s negative) it helps build exposure for the product without costing them any more money. If they spent the same money on TV airtime, nothing goes to the farmers and thousands more $$ is spent with networks.

  12. I’ve seen this photo in countless places and I’m relieved to finally see someone discuss just how distasteful it is. I’ve lived in Madagascar where malnutrition in cocoa producing regions is rampant, and if a cocoa farmer saw this, it would be considered the ultimate disgrace. Sure the Lagerfield stunt has its humor and a certain Willy Wonka whimsy, but it makes me just want to take a hot hair dryer to the whole damn room, Chocolate Man included.

  13. Shey-shey cafe

    Well… It got my attention whether I like it or not. I have to give credit because, (1) great marketing strategy, (2) It makes me appreciate not only the brand, but the art of chocolate… come on, the man created a hotel suite with a man in the bed! OUT OF CHOCOLATE!!..,(3)It challenge people to come up with something even better. For some it might seem like a waste, for me I would love to see it for my self… don’t you?

  14. DR

    Yeah, it is unpardonable to waste chocolate especially when a chocolate drought has been predicted in 2014!! Perhaps the people at Magnum have not read “Will there be No Chocolates in 2014?” on http://www.binfikr.com.

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