PR Team: In-house and Charles Barker plc
Campaign: Cadbury and Coronation Street - the Nation’s Favourites
Timescale: September 1996 -1997
Budget: pounds 100,000-plus
Cadbury Limited, the largest confectionery company within the Cadbury
Schweppes line, has been working for over a year with Granada Television
and eight specialist agencies. Its aim has been to develop a fully
integrated campaign strategy to support its pounds 10 million broadcast
sponsorship of Coronation Street, the biggest broadcast sponsorship in
To raise the profile of the Cadbury brand via the sponsorship launch and
to maintain interest and awareness in the sponsorship through the 12-
month post-launch period.
The sponsorship aims to highlight the link between Cadbury and
Coronation Street as two of the nation’s favourites. Cadbury conducted
extensive research to identify the best fit between programme and brand.
It wanted maximum, cost-effective exposure without intrusion into the
An animated credit sequence was chosen, based around a ‘chocolate’
Coronation Street, created by Aardman Animations. The credits appear
before and after the show and on break bumpers.
Steve Gebbett, managing director of Charles Barker, insists the
sponsorship is ‘not just a piece of purchased air time but a fully
The players in the campaign are Cadbury’s media buying agency TMD Carat;
its in-house PR-team; Granada TV’s press office and media sales arm
Laser; Sponsorvision, who commissioned the credits and Barsby Rowe Media
Consultancy, who advise on cost-effectiveness and viewership.
Further promotional activities, which began on 23 September and will run
for 12 weeks, are being managed by Charles Barker. These include an
interactive sales promotion in which purple objects appear at the end of
the show. If the object matches the one on the viewer’s chocolate
wrapper, prizes ranging from pounds 25,000 to a Rover’s Return tankard
can be claimed.
There are plans for local radio publicity; national and regional
newspaper competitions and a Teletext campaign. Charles Barker will also
work with the Street press office on cast appearances.
The sponsorship launch attracted 40 members of the national press and
stories ran in most national and regional newspapers. All of the
tabloids ran full-colour stories with the Daily Star devoting an entire
page and its Caldwell cartoon to the event and the Sun and Daily Mirror
reporting on page three. The Times had a lengthy report and the Sunday
Telegraph did a follow-up from a business angle. TV coverage included
ITN News, Sky News, Working Lunch and BBC Business Breakfast.
Team work seems to be the key to this, so far, successful campaign.
Individual players have pooled their expertise, maximising the benefits
of integration. The sponsorship has been well targeted, reaching a
potential audience of 18 million and provides the basis for further
Cadbury has demonstrated the ‘natural fit’ between brand and programme
without infringing on editorial content.
A Granada spokesperson said: ‘We are delighted with the end product and
feel the campaign has been a resounding success.’
The interactive promotion is likely to be a hit since it is more
engaging than standard instant-wins. The only danger is a wear-out
factor as the Cadbury credits appear four times in one episode. Charles
Barker say boredom will be alleviated by the changing credit sequence
but this remains to be seen.