Velvetise into happiness

A mesmerising new campaign from Hotel Chocolat uses Generative AI to bring the perfect cup of hot chocolate to life

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director Creativebrief


Hotel Chocolat is launching ‘Velvetise into Happiness’, a new creative platform to promote its drinking chocolate system.

The mesmerising campaign, created by Gravity Road, leans on the power of Generative AI by using sensory triggers in animation, designed to mirror the experience of creating the perfect hot chocolate.

To visualise this world, Gravity Road harnessed the latest Gen AI tools throughout the creative and production process. A process designed to bring the visual aspects of the Hotel Chocolat brand to life - from owned photography and product designs, through to the brand’s real-world cacao farm on the island of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean.

Our role is to make people and nature happy through reinventing chocolate.

Lynne Ormrod, Chief Marketing Officer at Hotel Chocolat

The result is a moment of pure escapism, as viewers watch the Velvetiser meld flakes of real chocolate and milk into the perfect cup of drinking chocolate. An escapism which underlines the power of marketing as both a break from the norm and a comfort blanket in an uncertain climate. A river of chocolate is the perfect escape from the stresses of everyday life.

The GenAI tools were integrated with more conventional forms of CGI to generate the animated TV film and digital assets.

Lynne Ormrod, Chief Marketing Officer at Hotel Chocolat, explains: “It’s exciting to finally be able to bring to life the escapist journey you experience with our chocolate. Our role is to make people and nature happy through reinventing chocolate. With this work we've loved being able to use Gen AI tools and CGI to bring to life how it feels to both make the drinking chocolate with the Velvetiser and the anticipation of tasting it. A velvety smooth cup of drinking chocolate is the epitome of chocolate happiness!”

Mark Eaves, Founder of Gravity Road, added: “Velvetise into Happiness is all about the journey towards sensorial pleasure that comes from the Velvetiser’s perfect cup of drinking chocolate.”

He continued: “We wanted to bring to life the feeling of escapism you experience in anticipation of an incredible cup of velvetised chocolate happiness, whilst waiting for the Velvetiser to work its magic. Gen AI tools allowed us to do this in dynamic new ways - the mesmerising nature of these models was perfect for inspiring escapist, and slightly surreal visualisations of the taste journey.”

The campaign launches across ITV channels this month, with a partnership deal brokered by Gravity Road. The campaign will run across the ITV network and ITVx platform, featuring in the Rugby World Cup coverage as well as key entertainment programming. It is also being activated across in-store marketing and digital amplification.

‘Velvetise into Happiness’ builds on the brand’s previous marketing efforts as it continues to focus on effectiveness. According to Gravity Road, 67% of people who saw the campaign said they were more likely to buy the product.

Since Hotel Chocolat launched the Velvetiser in 2018 millions of velvetised barista grade drinking chocolates have been enjoyed in homes across the UK. With less than 100 days until Christmas, consider this campaign the starting gun for advertising’s golden quarter.

In uncertain times, marketing which provides escapism combined with a laser-sharp focus on product benefit, is an effective comfort blanket for both consumers and clients alike. The power of soft marketing is here to stay. 

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