Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Madfest Insights: ‘Being brave worked for us’ says Cadbury’s

Cadburys is Britain’s fastest-growing grocery brand according to Kantar and a key part of that was due to advertising. Commercial results show that people are willing to pay more and this resulted in the best Christmas sales results ever for the brand in 2022.

What drove that success?

Ollie Gilmore, Group Planning Director, VCCP said that Cadburys “was a national treasure in decline. There were a lot of negative press stories around. The brand had found it hard to follow up from the drumming gorilla. The ‘glass and half’ element was still huge as was the history of the brand and it was decided that what Cadbury’s needed to do was get back to the generosity at the core of the brand”.

“We knew we had something that had stretch and longevity. We built a set of guidelines that drove activations, comms and partnerships” said Emma-Jayne Paxton, Senior Brand Manager, Christmas & Halloween.

When it came to the Christmas ad, Cadbury’s knew they had to do something different. They didn’t have the big advertising budget that other big brands had so how could they stand out? They realised that the solution lay in competing by thinking differently. They had to be brave enough to take a chance on what seemed like a completely bizarre idea; putting all their advertising budget into promoting an out-of-home poster in a tv advert. This poster advertising their secret Santa postal service ended up being seen by 48 million people in a huge triumph for the brand.

So what can we take from this? It’s integral to find the north star for your brand and commit to that across every encounter.

NDA is the official media partner of MAD//Fest 2023