Brand expert view – Cadbury

Cadbury are one of the many FMCG brands that are likely to maintain stable sales performance despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of the quintessentially British household brands, the brand has undertaken a rapid innovation focus since being bought out by Mondelez some 10 years ago. Almost all of the Cadbury staple brands have received some sort of innovation twist on their portfolios ever since the buyout and, initially it seemed like the brands’ communication approach may take a little more time to catch up with this innovative spirit.

However, in the past year or so this has changed.

Whether that be the Age UK ‘Lost for Words’ partnership, Miniature Heroes’ first campaign since 2013 that was boldly a digital-only campaign ahead of last Christmas, or their recent major sponsorship of Tottenham Hotspur as their official snack partner at their new world class stadium – it is clear that the marketeers who are managing the brands are now taking some much needed risks.

The Tottenham Hotspur announcement came just months after the National Trust partnership was ended after 13 long years. Potentially an admission from the family brand that they were having to rethink how to reach the family demographic; as well as an acknowledgement that the partnership may not now be delivering the kind of cut through that either party were looking for.

This new and fresh risk-taking approach to their communication was clearly intended to highlight the now iconic annual Crème Egg Hunt in March – typically carried out in store as consumers clamber for the rare white Crème Egg.

Last year, the brand took the hunt online and created a brilliantly executed Online Treasure Hunt, ensuring that the digital native generation could partake in the hunt from their iPads. This year, the unfortunately timed Grandparent hiding the Egg in his garden was pulled amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Could a bumper 2021 Hunt be on the cards?

For a brand whose in-store presence is unrivalled in the chocolate aisle, it is going to be particularly interesting. The brand’s powerful distribution helps to maintain their impressive awareness levels, but without the ability of a usual in-store experience over the coming months, the brand will have to turn to their communications plans to surprise and delight consumers.

The existing families may continue to shop Cadbury; but crucially how will they win the new, younger family? The brand has said themselves that they are keen not to create ‘wallpaper’ digital marketing, so those agency partners on the Cadbury brand will be crucial for the teams as they look to propel their brilliant chocolate into an entirely new audience.

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