Ubaid Zargar

Cadbury Silk versus Cadbury 5 Star...

In the tussle for recognition, brands often find themselves in a face-off with each other. From social media to TVCs, we’ve seen brands beautify their communication with a plethora of tactics just to stand out and appeal to consumers. But, how about two separate subsidiaries from the same parent company pitted against each other?

Well, on the streets of Mumbai, confectionery brand Mondelez India figured that the billboards could use some Cadbury makeover. With Cadbury Silk posted right next to Cadbury 5 Star, the hoarding turned quite a few heads with its peculiar yet intriguing spin-off.

In its trademark tagline, the Cadbury Silk emblem reads ‘How far will you go for love?’ – quite romantic, especially with Valentine’s Day fever still lingering in the air. But what did 5 Star say, figuratively? “Nah, I’m fine here.”

Cadbury 5 Star had received quite a bit of backlash for its recent campaign, ‘Do Nothing’. Its dedicated ad film that showcased a young man not assisting an old lady even when asked, received criticism from many corners of the consumer space. However, the brand has stuck with the narrative, as is clearly visible through the aforementioned OOH effort, and its relentless propulsion across social media avenues.

Pertinent to mention here, the ‘Do nothing’ campaign also saw some wincing consumer faces because of the timeliness of its release. Youth in the national capital have been quite active politically for a while now, and the ad film calling for ‘nothingness’ didn’t settle well with the national sentiment.

Expert Review:

Harjot Narang, general manager, Taproot Dentsu

Cadbury Silk versus Cadbury 5 Star...

I think this is an excellent use of the medium and smart messaging from a really accomplished marketing team.

If anyone is tempted to describe it as “separate entities from the same parent company – carrying opposite narratives” – to me that would reek of indulging in corporate jargon filled thinking that is disconnected from the reality of consumers.

Consumers live in a real world where they have too much happening in their real life to care about brands and messaging at large, let alone the entities that they represent. What consumers do care about and will reward with attention, is extremely human instances of opposing points of view coming face to face in juxtaposition of each other in a humorous, entertaining and relatable way – something that this communication does.

This communication also uses the medium of the outdoors so much better than most brands by moving away from one sided messages and making it much much more engaging by comparing two varied points of view in the same ad, so to speak.

Consumers are extremely intelligent and can see perfectly that both behaviours are real expressions of different personalities in the world and can equally see individual brands align with one versus the other in their belief systems. In fact, when Taproot Dentsu did the Parle “naam toh suna hoga” campaign sometime back – we too had used the whole range of well-known product brands from Parle to make a larger point about Parle and that helped each of the individual brands really well while pushing forth Parle overall.

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