Cadbury’s sweet ideas

Cadbury’s Dairy Milk is Ireland’s favourite chocolate. Mondelez’s Tricia Burke, right, on why the brand is homing in on little acts of kindness. She talked to Michael Cullen

In a world led by an infantile egotist characterised by a dearth of empathy and lacking in the fundamental issues of human relationships, corrupting the emotional and moral fabric of society, it might be seen as cynical and opportunist for a world famous confectionery brand to take the high ground and appeal to consumers with a strategy based on acts of kindness.

But when one considers that Cadbury, as with other popular food brands like Kellogg, Fry and Rowntree (now Nestle), was founded on generous principles by Quakers and pioneers of social justice, the concept may not seem so outlandish. Mondelez recently unwrapped its new ‘generous’ strategy for its flagship Cadbury’s Dairy Milk bar as revealed in a TV ad.

A mum finishes her shift at a fish and chip shop. She rushes to pick her young daughter up from school but is interrupted by a phone call as they make their way home. The little girl wanders into a corner shop and buys her mum a large bar of Dairy Milk. She has no money, so she shyly takes a few little objects from her purse to ‘pay’ and puts them on the counter.

The ‘currency’ comprises buttons and a tiny toy unicorn. The kindly shopkeeper raises his eyebrows but takes the ‘money’ and gives her back the unicorn as ‘change’. The girl hands the chocolate bar to her mum, wishing her a happy birthday. The spot ends with the tagline ‘There’s a glass & a half in everyone’. The ad is the first of many in a new series.

The campaign also includes out of home (OOH) executions showing the Cadbury Dairy Milk glass and a half of milk icon together with other positive symbols, such as a heart, smiley face and thumbs up. “Each month, there’ll be some new activity designed to put smiles on people’s faces,” Tricia Burke, senior brand manager, Mondelez Ireland, told

The acts of kindness can pop-up anywhere and take the form of a simple, surprise gesture. It is hoped the campaign might prompt a pay-it-forward mentality, whereby one good deed deserves another. One activation involved four independent coffee shops – Foodgame in Dublin, Coffee Roasters in Cork, Hook & Ladder in Limerick and Mocha Beans in Kilkenny.

Taking a call: Louis Walsh boogied his way to viral acclaim which proved the launch pad for his role as a brand ambassador in stings for Cadbury’s sponsorship of The X Factor on TV3.

When people went to pay for their drinks order, they discovered the bill was on Cadbury’s. They were handed the drink in a branded takeaway cup with a suggestion on how they might pass on the good deed. The branded cups featured the Cadbury social media handles and the campaign hashtag #GlassAndAHalf. One coffee shop was fitted out with hidden cameras.

The cameras captured customer reactions and content is shared on Cadbury’s social media channels. They also engaged with those who posted social media prompts on branded cups.

Mondelez invests a fair amount of time and money on sponsorship. Last August, it signed up as the official snack partner to England’s Barclays Premier League for three seasons.

To announce the news, former footballers and brand ambassadors Niall Quinn, Shay Given, Jason McAteer and Robbie Fowler showed up for a media day. Burke says the sponsorship opens up in-store and packaging opportunities. The tie-up also gives them rights to player milestones, including the Premier League’s annual Golden Boot and Golden Glove awards.

Mondelez recently did a deal with Today FM for Alison Curtis’s Weekend Breakfast show on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Listeners can win hampers by sharing their random acts of kindness. Cadbury co-sponsored with Dunnes Stores festive radio station Christmas FM. In all, €214,000 was raised by listeners for Sightsavers to fund 5,000 sight-restoring operations.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) plays a part too. Mondelez works with Aware and Barnardos. With Aware, they sponsor 10k and 5k fun runs in the Phoenix Park where about 2,000 people take part in early December. They work with the IRFU in staging a touch rugby blitz at Lansdowne RFC, with 15 men’s and women’s teams raising funds for Aware.

Last year, saw the return of the Cadbury Crème Egg Café in the form of a hunting lodge theme, with ticket proceeds and donations going to Aware. The annual Easter Egg Hunt raised over €40,000 for the Barnardos children’s charity. The foundation started by the Cadbury brothers over 80 years ago has donated over £8m to charities in the UK and Ireland.

Dairy Milk, a great bar: Football punters John Giles and Eamon Dunphy fronted for Cadbury’s Dairy Milk in ads created by FleishmanHillard. Dairy Milk is Ireland’s top bar with sales of €60 million. Irish consumers munch their way through €314m of chocolates a year.

Having joined Mondelez Ireland in 2012, Burke initially led marketing and communications for the company’s gum and candy portfolio – namely the Maynards Bassetts and The Natural Confectionery Company (TNCC) brands. She returned the TNCC brand to growth.

In 2014, she took on the role of sales revenue manager, responsible for the development and implementation of promotional strategies, as well as the management of trade investment for Cadbury’s seasonal chocolates. Before joining Mondelez Ireland, she spent six years working with Kerry Foods, three years at Kepak and two years with Barry’s Tea in Cork.

Burke started her career at Dairygold in Mitchelstown, where she worked for two years. At Kerry Foods, she managed all marketing communications for Denny, where her ‘Home Is’ brand campaign won extensive accolades, including the AIM brand campaign award, best integrated campaign at the PRCA awards, best digital campaign at the APMC awards, the creative award at the Sharks in Kinsale and three ICAD awards for creativity.

The old TV ads for Flake prompted calls for a ban amid suggestions of oral sex. Following the recent allegations made against Harvey Weinstein and the resultant #MeToo protests, it is highly unlikely they will ever be screened again. When asked about confectionery and obesity, Burke says chocolate is a treat and Mondelez adheres to GDA food labelling.

GDA stands for guideline daily allowance.

Nielsen gives Mondelez a 45.5 per cent share of Ireland’s €410 million confectionery market, the highest in three years and with growth in all sectors – singles, bags and blocks. Cadbury singles have the highest share on 51 per cent. Seven of the top 10 singles are Cadbury bars.

When candy is excluded from the overall market, Ireland’s sweet lovers munch their way through €314m of chocolates a year. Dairy Milk is Ireland’s top bar with sales of €60m.

Checkout listed it as the nation’s second most popular grocery brand after Coca-Cola. Nielsen’s Scantrack league of Ireland’s top 10 selling chocolate bars placed Dairy Milk at number one. Kinder Surprise comes second, followed by Cadbury’s Twirl, Star Bar, Golden Crisp, Wispa, Whole Nut, Kinder Bueno, Mars’ Snickers and Cadbury’s Caramello.

Three years ago, Cadbury Creme Egg became the first brand in Ireland to use a Snapchat lens, generating a reach of 1.4 million, and to activate Snap ads, the equivalent of display on the platform. The recent launch of white Crème Eggs made headlines, particularly as the roll out of the disguised eggs in shops proved a test for even the most accomplished oval hunter.

Mondelez agencies in Ireland include FleishmanHillard for PR, social media and local advertising campaigns, and Carat for media. In 2014, FH produced the infamous ‘Dunphy and Giles’ video, as part of the Cadbury Dairy Milk #FreeTheJoy campaign. The 90-second video was only meant to be for viral use but TV3 ended up featuring it as a one-off spot.

Within minutes, it trended on Twitter. A digital push for the video followed, resulting in widespread media coverage and trending on social media. In a second Cadbury’s ad, Louis Walsh boogied his way to viral acclaim which proved the launch pad for his role as a brand ambassador, resulting in stings as part of Cadbury’s sponsorship of The X Factor on TV3.

Mondelez partnered with Live Nation for activations at Longitude and EP. Cadbury’s Buttons recruited families through their social channels to allow them appear in TV and outdoor ads. Over Christmas, Cadbury Cadvent parades in Dublin, Cork and Donegal and the Cadventure Green Screen roadshow gave families a chance to fly through Lapland on a sleigh.

A statement on how creative power in adland may be changing was made at the 26th JNOR annual awards by PML winning the media grand prix for Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, above. It was the first time the award has gone to an agency not normally seen as a creative shop. Booked by Carat and designed by PML Design +, the campaign also won the best innovation category.

Last year, Cadbury ran an extensive study across digital campaigns to understand the return on investment and the impact on sales. For every digital campaign a pre and post survey was conducted to measure the effect on awareness, purchase intent and purchase. Cadbury will soon finalise the study to show effectiveness of campaigns and relevance on media plans.

A recent report by Euromonitor puts Irish consumers in third place among the world’s leading chocoholics. Last year, the average Irish person are 17lb (7.7kg) of chocolate, the equivalent of 151 standard-size bars, with Austria in second place and Switzerland, the home of Kraft, at the top of the chocolate table on 19lb. Germany is fourth and the UK fifth.

Euromonitor puts Ireland at number seven when it comes to eating other sugary sweets, such as toffees, nougat, gums, jellies, mints, liquorice and lollipops, with per capita consumption calculated at 7.8lb. Consumers continue to be attracted by indulgence and enjoying ‘cheat days’ when treats are allowed. Burke and Mondelez will hope the current trend holds up.










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