David Clark

David Clark
Vice President, General Mills
President, Häagen-Dazs International

From Dulce de Leche flavor in Latin America to green tea ice cream in Japan, from the Parisian elegance of the Champs-Élysées to Shanghai’s bustling Nanjing Road to City Centre in Dubai, Häagen-Dazs, a brand with roots in Bronx New York as the 1961 creation of a Polish-American entrepreneur, is now sold in more than 900 branded shops in 85 countries.  David Clark, President of Häagen-Dazs International, had been instrumental in creating a powerful global platform for the super-premium ice cream brand while also finding a way to encourage and support local uniqueness.  In just three years, Häagen-Dazs evolved from seven different local ad campaigns to one unified global initiative that works in 85 markets and across all consumer touch points.

Häagen-Dazs, like many international brands, had historically approached their global communications market by market. David Clark’s leadership was critical to breaking down local barriers and inspiring all regions to collaborate as one team by embracing a global approach. He saw the potential in leveraging the cumulative power of local markets to support a global idea in ways they could not do on their own.

The truth of the Häagen-Dazs brand has always been in its relentless craftsmanship, high style and an insistence on using only the finest ingredients. Their approach has always had more in common with high-end luxury brands than their ice-cream competitors. Using this insight, “The House of Häagen-Dazs” campaign repositions the brand in a playful way as a high-end fashion house, inherently elevating the brand, both visually and verbally, beyond a mere packaged goods brand.

“The House of Häagen-Dazs” is a potent creative platform that easily translates across regions while allowing for individualized regional adaptation. It enables culturally relevant communications, extending the brand to credibly develop a platform for activations and content in the world of fashion, music, art and film. Retail shops are being rebranded as “The House of Häagen-Dazs” and the in-store customer experiences are also being elevated.

David continually encourages his team to look for ways to create a unique path for the brand on the global level and separate itself from the competition. The brand is unquestionably a symbol of prestige in both emerging and developed markets.  Some couples in China order Häagen-Dazs wedding cakes costing as much as $2,000, while the Paris stores offer a handmade limited edition Ice Cream Cloud Holiday Cakes.  The brand is also the official ice cream of the French Open and performances at the Royal Albert Hall.  Ice cream mooncakes debuted in Hong Kong in 1992, and now are prized purchases for the Mid-Autumn Festival in China, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia.  Japan takes pride in its perfectly crafted Häagen-Dazs Rose and Sakura flavors. 

David is a champion of taking the brand to the next level. He lives up to his word. He sets the challenge to do groundbreaking work, supports the creative throughout the process, gets the necessary buy-in with the key stakeholders and regional teams. 

Little known fact? His father used to run the old Eskimo Pie company in Richmond, Virginia- USA.

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