Campaign case study: Cadbury takes public's word for it

Cadbury is one of the world's best-known chocolate brands, but is facing increased competition. Despite research showing consumers think of Cadbury as a fun brand that they associate with brilliant adverts, this had not necessarily translated into desire for its products.

Calling consumers: The Cadbury campaign was launched by Brian Blessed and Claudia Winkleman
Calling consumers: The Cadbury campaign was launched by Brian Blessed and Claudia Winkleman

In particular, Cadbury needed to protect its core chocolate tablets business. The brand had not carried out a major Dairy Milk PR campaign for years. It asked GolinHarris to run a campaign to drive sales. It wanted to use the Joyville concept - an imaginary place where Cadbury's chocolate is made - which had previously featured in the brand's advertising.

Campaign Taste – Search for Joyville Taster
Client        Cadbury    
PR team    GolinHarris
Timescale  January-March 2013
Budget      £200,000

• To get consumers to reappraise the taste of Cadbury Dairy Milk
• To reach 45- to 64-year-olds
• To drive sales of Cadbury Dairy Milk, particularly medium-sized tablets

Strategy and plan
GolinHarris conducted research with more than 900 people, including key media targets and chocolate-loving mums.

The strategy was to get the public to define the taste of Dairy Milk. The target was all broadcast channels and national media, particularly SunOnline.

GolinHarris launched a campaign to get the public to create a word to describe the taste of Dairy Milk. The winner would be crowned Joyville Taster.

The campaign was launched by TV presenter Claudia Winkleman at the British Library. More than 50 journalists saw the unveiling of The Great Chocolate Mixionary, a giant chocolate waterfall machine that turned words into chocolate.

Guests were invited to tweet descriptions of the taste of Dairy Milk, which were announced to the packed room by Brian Blessed’s booming voice, before the machine turned them into chocolate.

Bloggers offered their readers literary- themed competitions giving away bes­poke books containing a hiding place for a Dairy Milk bar. Some bloggers received more than 1,000 entries in just three days.

Trade outreach amplified the launch of the Taste campaign, alongside digital and social channels with Facebook activity, YouTube takeovers, mobile, SEO and Twitter.  

The Joyville recruitment team travelled the country, sampling Dairy Milk over 42 live days to wannabe Joyville Tasters. Thousands of consumers shared their des­criptions online. The winner was Jane Billingham, from Wales, whose suggestion was ‘absoverylicious’.

Measurement and evaluation
The campaign resulted in 149 pieces of coverage, beating the target of 96. It received coverage in Metro, Daily Star, Real People, Wales on Sunday, The Grocer, Marketing Week and SunOnline.

About 77,000 people tweeted descriptions of Dairy Milk. Sampling activity reached more than 760,000 consumers.

The Taste campaign led to the largest ever sales spike of Cadbury Dairy Milk tablets, and drove a rise in revenue of more than 20 per cent year on year.

Second opinion

Hannah Clifford, senior account director, Wild Card

Despite Cadbury being one of the world’s best-known chocolate brands, maintaining an editorial presence is often a challenge without any product development to shout about.

GolinHarris’ strategy around ‘taste’ was a clever way of re-engaging the 45- to 65-year-old target audience, who were likely to have an emotional connection with Cadbury Dairy Milk linking back to childhood.

The strategy allowed for simple yet fun campaign ingredients – celebrity, stunt, media launch, blogger competitions and sampling – ensuring a recipe for success across traditional media, as well as the ability to bring it to life via the social community.

The simplicity of the call to action, ‘to create a new word to describe the taste of Dairy Milk’, ensured high levels of audience participation, while reminding people of the great taste of Cadbury Dairy Milk. It also provided that all-important motivation for purchase.

Perhaps the team could have amplified it further by doing more with the winning word, such as trying to get it into the dictionary.

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