over the Years

Markedsføring gennem tiderne
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A smile, a creative perspective, new knowledge, and surprises served with a twinkle in the eye have always been elements in the marketing of our sweets and chocolate.

Advertisements in Early Marketing

In the 1920s, text-heavy advertisements in newspapers were common. The ads listed the name of the product, a price, and possibly an address indicating where to buy it. With the financial challenges of the 1930s, advertisements gradually changed and now a picture in the ad became important. The ad aimed to portray an idyllic situation that people could relate to and associate with the product.
After World War II, Denmark became economically and culturally connected to the USA, and magazines and newspapers featured American fashion and stars. More American-inspired products emerged – Yankie Bar is a good example. In advertisements for the chocolate bar, it is obvious that the American influence was part of Toms Fabrikker’s marketing strategy.

Visible in the Cityscape

As early as 1917, it became legal to paint advertisements on building facades, making advertisements a common sight in the cityscape. With the growing competition among businesses, urban spaces were put to use, and Toms also contributed. For example, with the beautiful advertisement for Harlequin and Columbine chocolate tablets.

Galle & Jessen were also visible in the cityscape long before they became part of Toms Group. At Østerbro, Copenhagen, they decorated the factory’s characteristic chimney with the letters G&J and a clock. This clock, and after 1965 also the frogs, illuminated the chimney for miles around, informing Copenhageners of both time and location for many years. 

Neon signs became increasingly common in the urban landscape, and from 1965 to 1999, ’Ga-Jol-manden’ also illuminated Galle & Jessen’s factory building in Østerbro. ’Ga-Jol-manden’ was moved to Vesterbro in 1999 where it lit up until 2016.

Toms went Viral ahead of Time

Another way to reach the Danes in the 1950s was through the telephone, which gradually made its way into more and more homes. Toms came up with the idea of using the telephone for advertising. Everywhere it was announced that Toms would call random people every evening between 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM. If the phone was picked up with the immediate answer “Toms Guld Barre”, it triggered a cash prize.
Answering the phone and being ready for Toms’ call became a nationwide pastime. This pushed the Guld Barre to the top of Danish awareness, and people now began all phone conversations by saying: “Toms Guld Barre.” This is how Toms went viral decades before the internet and the intake of social media.

The World of Sports

As the welfare state expanded from the 1950s and onwards, the Danes had more spare time and they embraced sports both as participants and spectators.
It was, therefore, brilliant marketing when Toms offered itself as a partner for major sports events or purchased banner advertisements for TV-broadcasted matches and competitions.
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Commercials on TV

In 1987, commercials truly made their way into Danish television when advertising-financed TV stations got permissions to broadcast. Now, commercials were not only shown in the cinemas, but they became a part of people’s everyday life at home in the living rooms.
Danes embraced the TV commercial breaks, which quickly became a central marketing platform – also for the Toms Group. This is a commercial for Guld Barre from 1989.

The Tomsen Family

Around the turn of the millennium, Danish humor had made its clear entrance into many TV commercials. It generated big smiles and inside jokes among Danes, and not even our neighbors in Sweden fully understood what was going on. Toms Group created the advertising universe “Familien Tomsen” which made its way into Danish households and provided entertainment for six years from 2002 to 2008.
The advertising campaign was also known as “De nye på tredje” (“The new ones on the third floor”) and in 2002, Toms Group won a Zulu Award for Familien Tomsen. Well-known Danish actors such as Annette Heick, Xenia Lach-Nielsen, Søren Fauli, Uffe Holm, and Søren Hauch-Fausbøll were dressed as Toms products, bringing together icons like Guld Barre, Skildpadde, Yankie Bar, Ga-Jol, Holly Bar, and Guldkaramel in one universe.
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The Danish term ’hygge’ is often used to describe cosy moments, and from 2015 a delicate balance between spookiness and cosiness was presented by the ‘piv-uhyggelige’ advertising universe.
On TV, Facebook and in the cinema, the character ‘Jan Krabbe’ from the satire program ‘Angora by night’ read creepy stories for the Danes – all of them having cosy endings and references to iconic sweets and chocolates from Toms Group.

Internet and SoMe

The Internet and social media have added yet another dimension to marketing. The consumer needs to be personally involved, and messages must fully align with current trends in society and cultural life.

Sweets and chocolate products need to fit into a total experience, and when they succeed, there are no limits to how far advertisements and slogans can reach. Consumers share everything they connect with on social media. 

Watch or revisit

Watch or revisit some of the popular social media posts in the video.

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