Clif Bar is introducing the energy bar brand's most significant advertising campaign in its 27-year history by providing a voice to the Clif logo character for the first time.
"At Clif, we have typically let our positive actions speak for us, and we thought just doing good work was enough," explains Dan Hickle, vice president, brand marketing, Clif.
He added there is an opportunity to break through the "sea of sameness" in food marketing. "We recognize people want to align their values with the brands they believe in – like ours."
The creative, developed with Callen, features the whimsical personality cycling through a series of vignettes — from organic farms to a sustainable
bakery — while speaking about Clif's organic ingredients and sustainable business strategies.
There was no question about building the campaign around the logo since he is "synonymous" with the company, says Craig Allen, founder-Chief Creative Officer, Callen. "He seemed like the logical choice to be the megaphone to trumpet Clif's amazing beliefs to the world." The agency worked closely with the client to bring him to life in a fun, quirky, way that was true to the kind of culture that exists within the Clif company itself, says Allen.
Both the company and agency declined to cast a celebrity in the role or provide him with an official name, although internally team members "lovingly" referred to him as “Clif” or “the Clif Climber," jokes Allen.
The campaign includes 30- and 90-second ads, first airing during the NBA playoffs. The national campaign will then extend to live events, cinemas and across major media outlets through June 2019.
Clif will further support this messaging via social media and at grassroots type summer events across the U.S.
"At a time when we need positive energy in this country, we wanted to get the story out about how we pump good into the world," says Hickle. "We hope to inspire people and other companies to join us in doing good."