Saumya Tewari

Cadbury: Joie de vivre

Forget all those occasions. Cadbury, in its latest campaign, urges consumers to bring out their inner child and live every moment.

For many years now, Cadbury used Indians' penchant for celebrating any occasion with a 'mithai' by urging them to try its chocolate instead. In the process, it managed to make a niche for itself by cleverly weaving its campaigns around festivals like Diwali, Holi or even the first day of a month (the Pehli Tareek campaign aiming to celebrate the day when salaries are credited). Now, the brand is thinking differently.

Cadbury: Joie de vivre
Cadbury: Joie de vivre
In a significant move, Cadbury has decided to move away from its occasion-related brand positioning and to make chocolate consumption a casual habit. The idea is to convey to the consumers that they don't need to wait for a special occasion to enjoy a bar of chocolate. It has rolled out a new TV campaign highlighting its global proposition, 'Free the Joy'. Part of Cadbury's global campaign, this ad communicates that true joy is experienced when one listens to one's heart and lets go.

Change of scene

The commercial opens in a beautiful snow-covered location with a rather 'urban'-looking married couple in the early 30s. The wife is shown eating a Cadbury Dairy Milk bar while looking at her husband. Oblivious to the surroundings - and the atmosphere - he is busy answering mails.

To get him off his phone, she provokes a snowball fight by hurling a snowball at him. It works and he instantly retaliates with a snowball. They run around mischievously throwing snowballs at each other. Tired, they sit down and the wife offers the husband a Cadbury bar, which turns out to be just the wrapper. She runs off with the chocolate teasing him. The film ends with the background score line "Dil jo keh raha hai suno". The message is loud and clear - a little nudge can actually bring a person joy, or joy into a person.

Conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather (O&M), the campaign marks a departure from Cadbury's otherwise-popular positioning as an occasion-specific product in previous ad series like 'Shubh Aarambh'. Why change something that was working so well?

Straight from the heart

Manoj Shetty, group creative director, O&M explains that Cadbury has reached that stage in India where it has already established an intimate relationship with its consumers. The brand can start talking beyond its functional, or even socially or culturally contextualized role. "I believe, Cadbury Dairy Milk can now afford to get more personal with its audience," he says.

The core idea behind the campaign is that the 'joy' resides in the act of letting go and that one should live as if no one is watching. "We are all too busy and perhaps a little less sensitive to live life in its truest sense, in its authenticity. This campaign urges the consumer to live from the heart, and in essence, free the joy that is deep within all of us," Shetty notes.

Directed by Vivek Kakkad of Curious Films, the ad was shot in two days in Vienna. It stars Nimrat Kaur (of The Lunchbox fame) and popular TV and film actor Amir Basheer, who has appeared in the movie Armaan (2003) and the critically acclaimed thriller, A Wednesday (2008). The soulful background score has been composed and sung by Amit Trivedi while the lyrics are by Nilesh Jain.

Commenting on the objective behind the campaign, Manjari Upadhye, VP - chocolates, Mondelez India Foods, says that the TVC aims to inspire people to listen to their heart and live in the moment. "The desired consumer response we would want is Cadbury Dairy Milk encourages me to live joyfully and act in ways that create joy for others," she states. The ad targets consumers between15 and 34 years of age.

Since this is a big change in proposition for the brand, the company will be activating the campaign regularly over the next two years. Apart from the TVC, the campaign will be popularised on radio, print and digital medium.

Cadbury India is a part of Mondelēz International Inc. The company operates in five categories - chocolate confectionery, beverages, biscuits, gum and candy. Some of its key brands are Cadbury Dairy Milk, Bournvita, 5-Star, Perk, Bournville, Celebrations, Halls, éclairs, Bubbaloo, Tang and Oreo.

It began its operations in India in 1948 by importing chocolates. Today, it has six company-owned manufacturing facilities at Thane, Induri (Pune), Malanpur (Gwalior), Bengaluru, Baddi (Himachal Pradesh) and Hyderabad and four sales offices (New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai). Some of Cadbury's previous campaigns are T20 Ka Shubh Aarambh, Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye and Mishti.

Where's the brand connect?

The experts we spoke to believe that while the campaign gets a thumb's-up for execution, it lacks in creating a stronger brand presence, which becomes all the more important when the company is looking to change the positioning.

Cadbury: Joie de vivre
Cadbury: Joie de vivre
Appreciating the production value of the campaign, Navin Theeng, group creative director, Cheil Worldwide SW Asia, believes that on its own the commercial grows better with every viewing. "But like a snowball that just misses its mark, it fails to connect like the other wonderful Cadbury ads that have come before," he points out.

He stresses that the attempt to 'casualise' chocolate consumption and make it a 'non-occasion' treat, flies in the face of prior efforts like 'Shubh Aarambh'. "It will require more than just one commercial for this message to get through. Especially when the effort has to fight the occasion-based perception created previously by the same brand," he rues.

For Aditya Jaishankar, national planning head, Percept/H the ad is well executed with endearing storyline, simple execution and a natural feel to the characters. "The background score enhances this feel," he highlights. He notes that it is a good attempt at breaking away from typical occasion-linked communication. However, Jaishankar too feels that since it's a breakaway from the typical Cadbury ads, the brand should have been weaved more effectively into the storyline.

"The presence of the brand only at the very end could lead to the story overpowering the brand completely. This could become one of the unusual cases where the storyline is well-remembered but the brand may be missed," he opines.

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