Cadbury Bournville: The fine experience of chocolate

By Poojya Trivedi , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising
Last updated : January 27, 2010
Cadbury has launched another campaign to tempt customers with the fine taste of its dark chocolate, Bournville

Cadbury's latest TVC for its dark chocolate, Bournville, builds on the concept from its previous ad. The current ad is also shot in a British setup and has an international feel.

"Being a British company, we try to bring in that aura. And this time, we have PG Wodehouse-type humour in our ad," Nikhil Rao, assistant vice-president, marketing, Cadbury India, tells afaqs!.

"The last Bournville ad that we launched got us great response. We were quite keen to take forward the legacy of that brand, which means a bit of British heritage, a bit of humour, and telling people how to appreciate Bournville, because it is one of the finer things in life," says Abhijit Avasthi, national creative director, Ogilvy. Apart from this ad, Avasthi also worked on the earlier Bournville ad, which showcased an American travel host.

Manoj Shetty, executive creative director, Ogilvy, who has also worked on the campaign with Avasthi, says that to make people see the value in the product and appreciate the premium touch, the agency used the character of a butler, who is supposed to be a gentleman's gentleman.

"We wanted to cement the proposition that you have to earn your Bournville. So, the idea was to look for an interesting tale with the same moral," says Avasthi.

Dark Indulgence

Continuing with the tagline, 'You don't just buy a Bournville; you earn it', the TVC opens on the shot of a butler, James, who does not appreciate the finer things in life, and is pulled up by his employer for not being finicky about fine tastes. The disgruntled butler goes on to imitate his employer. As he does so, he bites into his Bournville; and as a result, a piano lands on his head.

The product shot follows, while a voiceover says, "James, You don't just buy a Bournville; you earn it."

"The insight in the creative is to show people that bad things can happen to anyone who eats it without earning it," Rao tells afaqs!.

The aura of sophistication and high living is created to place the dark chocolate in the same category as malt whiskey, old wine or champagne -- which is to be enjoyed when you have achieved something, or in other words, earned it.

The team spent five days shooting the ad in an old castle, known as Sodertuna, near Stockholm, Sweden. During the shooting, Shetty recalls, three pianos were dropped down, to get the shot of the broken piano right.

Like the earlier ad, this commercial is also shot by Acne Production and directed by Henrik Sundgren.

Interestingly, the Rolls Royce which is shown in the beginning of the film belongs to the Italian actress, Sophia Loren.

Earn it. But how?

In a market such as India, which is dominated by milk chocolates, how does a dark chocolate like Bournville create its niche?

Rao explains, "People have to acquire this taste. The chocolate is positioned as a chocolate for people who have been abroad and are looking for an international taste of chocolate - those who demand really fine stuff and are interested in knowing what has gone into making chocolates."

Internationally, a lot of chocolates are meant for special occasions and are also expensive. But in India, the chocolate market has been made accessible by introducing chocolates at Rs 5 and Rs 10 for the masses.

To make Bournville a chocolate for discerning tastes, the company came up with the concept of having it only after you have achieved something, that is, the concept of 'earning' the chocolate.

Explaining this concept, Rao says, "The chocolate is for those special occasions, where a person wants to treat himself or herself on any of his achievements. It is like opening a bottle of champagne on your promotion."

Now in its second year in India, Bournville uses a mix of TV, print and point of sale for its promotion. The company also samples the chocolates with Jet Airways customers from time to time.

It has also tied up with the Wine Society of India, where during the tasting sessions in various cities, Bournville is sampled with the participants. Participants are also told about how to appreciate dark chocolates with red wine.


Bournville lover, Soumitra Karnik, executive creative director, JWT liked the earlier commercial (Reporter) as compared to this one. He says, "The ad begins nicely, there is an old-wit in the ad, which comes out well in the first half. But the second half is too predictable and a sort of anti-climax."

Sanjay Sharma, president, north and east, Mudra Communications thinks the ad is well-executed with good production values and has an interesting twist in the end. He also likes the aristocratic British backdrop, which enhances the 'finer things in life' positioning of the brand.

"It's an entertaining piece of communication. But I think a real twist in the tale, rather than an unreal 'piano on the head' moment, would have made it more engaging and memorable. In the Indian context, such humour may not be easily understood," he adds.

However, there is also a set of people who dislike the ad outright. KS Chakravarthy aka Chax, national creative director, Draftfcb Ulka, says, "I am afraid I find the commercial quite silly. It is pretentious in intent, childish in the writing and overall falls flat on its face."

Rao reveals that India is the largest market for Cadbury Bournville, which has earned its name from its home-town, Bournville, in UK. It is also sold in countries like South Africa, the UK, and Australia (in the latter, it is called as Old Gold).

First Published : January 27, 2010

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