Eat it only if you've earned it, says Cadbury Bournville

By Savia Jane Pinto , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | January 06, 2009
Cadbury takes the superstitious route to launch its category of dark chocolates

Though & #BANNER1 & # the latest ad for Cadbury Bournville is not an international ad, it borrows from the 1950s and 1960s era of international advertising.

After discontinuing its erstwhile dark chocolate brand, Bournville, Cadbury has relaunched it with a new recipe - a high percentage of cocoa and no milk.

The plans for relaunching Bournville in India were formulated towards the end of 2008. O&M worked on the campaign that introduces the new category of chocolates in the country. The dark chocolate version of Bournville has been present in Britain, where it was first made, for about a century now. The target group for the chocolate is SEC A1.

The TV commercial, which is currently on air, opens on the shot of an American travel host speaking into a camera. He's standing in the village of Bournville in Britain, holding a chocolate of the same name, which has been made in the village. A crowd gathers in the vicinity as he speaks.

He tells the audience that there is a tradition in Bournville, whereby one is supposed to open the chocolate wrapper gently, listen to the chocolate snap, take in the aroma and then ask oneself, "Have you earned it?" He relates that in the old days, one had to beat the French at war or the Australians in cricket to get a chance to eat the chocolate.

Calling it British mumbo-jumbo, he goes on to eat the Bournville, even though he hasn't earned it. Hardly does he take a bite than a flying animal catches him by the collar and lifts him up into the air. The onlookers are shocked.

The product shot is shown while a voiceover (of the American travel host) in the background says, "Made from precious Ghanaian cocoa, comes a dark chocolate so fine, legend has it, and I've learned… You don't just buy a Bournville; you earn it." At this point, the travel host is back in front of the camera, covered in bandages.

The aura of mysticism and legend is created to place Bournville among the finer things in life, such as Scotch, wine and Cuban cigars. "Like someone would uncork Scotch on a special occasion, Bournville, too, is in the same league. That's why the peg of not just buying it, but earning it," says Abhijit Avasthi, executive creative director, South Asia, O&M.

Sanjay Purohit, director of marketing, Cadbury, explains why the name Bournville was retained, instead of introducing a new brand name. "The earlier brand had a niche segment of loyalists. The idea was to expand this set by coming up with an offering that was true to the definition of a dark chocolate. Hence, we've retained the name because of the positive image that it carried among people who were aware of the brand."

The ad has an international look and an international cast as well. "Since the chocolate was born in Britain, we wanted its pedigree to be reflected in the commercial," reveals Avasthi.

The ad was shot in Stockholm, Sweden, in a location that is very British in appearance. The director, Kalle, who was slated to shoot the film, is from Stockholm. A famous Los Angeles television star, Brett Stimely, has been cast as the travel host.

The look of the ad is designed to help Cadbury leverage on the international appeal of Bournville.

Print, innovative outdoor and bus shelters form part of the media mix. A microsite,, has been created by the agency. The site provides the details of making dark chocolate, its origins and other interesting facts.

Sampling the chocolate at places the target group frequents is also part of the exercise. Radio, too, will soon be part of the mix.

afaqs! spoke to a few experts in the industry to get their take on the ad.

Rahul Jauhari, head of creative, Pickle Advertising, thinks that Cadbury got a few things right, such as the website and the in-flight sampling exercise, making it a chocolate for people with taste and pegging it as "international".

"But the TVC goes off on a different tangent for me," he says. Though he feels that the ad was executed well, it seems less "dark chocolate legends" and more "bizarre international legends".

Raghu Bhat, senior vice-president and executive creative director at Contract Advertising, first lists the positive points. "The ad has a fresh structure and is memorable and creates enough mystique to make me go ahead and try the chocolate."

However, he feels that the not so positive point is that the TVC carries two tones of voices. He feels that if the brand is striving to be exclusive and premium, it should have continued the snobbish tone of voice right till the end of the film, instead of taking a humorous dip at the end.

The team from O&M that worked on the campaign includes Manoj Shetty, Siddhartha Dutta and Sreejith Kodoth, who worked on the print creatives. Shetty is also responsible for the concept and script of the film. Prasanna Kulkarni, Navin Kansal, Anand Gharat and Sony Varghese worked on the interactive. The production company is Acne Films.