Shreyas Kulkarni

“What plans for Valentine’s Day?” hurts; Cadbury 5 Star is giving you an out from the wound this year

But it goes against its sibling Dairy Milk that loves to ask “how far will you go for love?”

Some questions hurt. “What are you doing on Valentine’s Day?” wounds. Come February and all the singles will want to ban social media on 14 February; watching or hearing couples drowning in the red pool of love feels like a cruel punishment.

Cadbury 5 Star, the chocolate bar from Mondelez, has decided to give you an out this year, an alibi if you must. Instead of feeling awkward, or coming up with excuses, single people can now say, “I’m going to my cousin's wedding”, without having to lie.

In what feels like taking a leaf out of Bruce Wayne’s playbook, the chocolate brand has taken over an island located off the coast of Karnataka and renamed it ‘My Cousin’s Wedding’. By doing so, they’ve created a fool-proof alibi which also offers an alternative way to spend Valentine’s Day – eating complimentary 5 Stars and doing absolutely nothing on a beautiful island, with no one around to disturb you.

Anil Viswanathan, Vice President, Marketing – Mondelez, India, said, “Being at the heart of the country’s youth culture, Cadbury 5 Star has always communicated narratives that are witty and relatable. As a brand that truly understands Gen Z, we wanted our Valentine’s Day campaign to represent singles - to not only help them steer away from the awkward questions but also give them an experience to sit back and do nothing; bringing back the Cadbury 5 Star promise with elements of humour and quirk intact. After all, singles also deserve to have fun.”

But, like all good things in life, there’s a caveat. Consumers looking to escape to the island can scan a 5 Star pack, mine ‘NothingCoins’ (a digital coin launched by the brand recently) and use them to bid on a trip to the island. A pretty cool way to extend the brand’s ‘Do Nothing’ philosophy especially on a day when your performance matters, a lot.

Sukesh Nayak, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy India, said, “Valentine's Day can be quite daunting for someone who's single or just not into it. Since 5 Star has been championing the cause of people who just want to 'do nothing', we took it a step further this year by offering them a perfect escape from the madness. A commonly used excuse that will no more be a lie. As crazy as it sounds, some people will soon be spending Valentine's Day doing literally nothing on a faraway island called ‘My Cousin's Wedding'.

But that’s not all – the island now even has its own embassy, located at Pedder Road in Mumbai. Customers can walk in, get a glimpse of the island through a VR experience and then apply for a Visa to the island, at the Immigration Desk. The embassy is an experience in itself, with a ‘mush detector’ keeping the embassy ground safe from any cheesy objects you might be carrying, and a sand-filled ‘transit visa’ room that lets you experience what it’s like to do nothing on the island.

Shekhar Banerjee, Chief Client Officer and Head-West, Wavemaker India, said, “We didn't just stop at creating an Island called My Cousin's Wedding but also created a larger-than-life Embassy similar to a real one to create a legit experience. If that wasn't enough, we even went ahead and created outdoor banter with a counter-culture approach between Cadbury 5 Star and Cadbury Silk thus establishing the brand's different positioning while still leveraging the occasion that's meant for the brands promoting love. To amplify the campaign further we tapped into various relevant youth touch points with a 360 degree activation that helped us dial up the messaging across our TG and build in the brand messaging of escaping this Valentine’s by simply Doing Nothing! The response has been overwhelming and a lot of chatter around the escape plan by simply doing nothing is the talk of the town."

What’s more interesting and funny is the competition 5 Star now has with its sibling Cadbury Dairy Milk which, for decades. has become the most common gift and expression of Valentine’s Day. “How far will you go for love?” is the question Dairy Milk Silk asks in its ads.

"Not much" say the viewers pleased with 5 Star’s move. We only wonder if we will see Rahul Gandhi and Salman Khan on this island.

The 5 Star offer is not applicable in Tamil Nadhu because the Tamil Nadu Prize Schemes (Prohibition) Act, 1979, prohibits the selection of winners based on lucky draws or lots.

Credits (as per Gayatri Patkar’s, senior brand manager, equity at Mondelez International, LinkedIn post)

Team Ogilvy: Priya Gokani Thakkar Beenu Kurup Vini Dedhia Abhijeet Singh Nirban Karunasagar Sridharan Prakash Nair Nadia Miranda

Team Wavemaker: Harshil Vora Neomi Desai Akhila Harsha Vardhan Desireddy Shekhar Banerjee Aniket G. Sharan Shetty Gaurav

Team Mondelez: Anil Viswanathan Pratik Shetty Aashita Sharma Anirul Jindal Yash Desai

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