Cadbury take home the IPA Effectiveness Grand Prix

VCCP, Carat and Mondelēz have been awarded the advertising industry’s top accolade, the prestigious IPA Effectiveness Awards Grand Prix, for rebuilding Cadbury’s brand and increasing annual revenue by £261m.

In addition to the Grand Prix, the Effectiveness paper entitled, “There’s a glass & a half in everyone” How intrinsic purpose can transform a brand’s fortunes took home the Special Prize for Best Demonstration of Purpose (For-Profit) and a Gold award.

After a turbulent few years for the company, during which two million British households had stopped buying Cadbury Dairy Milk, Mondelēz’s agencies, VCCP and Carat transformed the national treasure by rediscovering its intrinsic purpose – that of generosity. This was born of both the core feature of the product - that it generously contains a glass and a half of milk – and the roots of the organisation, founded on Quaker values.

By channelling this intrinsic purpose, Cadbury oriented strategy and comms activity around the belief that there’s a generous instinct within us and a wider purpose to inspire more generosity in the world. In short, by showing “there’s a glass and a half in everyone”, the paper outlines that “unlike ‘bolted-on’ versions of purpose sometimes deployed in marketing, this approach was not born of a contemporary issue, nor made with a ‘with us or against us’ stance on a divisive societal issue.” Instead, it explains, Cadbury set out to unite people and, in doing so, demonstrated how purpose that is overtly connected to brand and product can drive affinity, equity and sales.

To bring this strategy to life, the campaign launched in 2018 focused on two primary areas: storytelling and storydoing. Storytelling involved creating emotionally engaging stories of everyday Britons using Cadbury Dairy Milk to demonstrate generosity to each other, including ‘Mum’s birthday’, ‘Fence’ and ‘Bus’.

Meanwhile, Storydoing centred on developing emotionally engaging Cadbury initiatives at commercially significant times that inspire all of us to show generosity to each other. These initiatives include the Cadbury Worldwide Hide – a digital platform where people could virtually hide an Easter Egg anywhere in the world for a loved one - and Cadbury Secret Santa, a digital platform and physical installations that enabled people to send chocolate secretly to a loved one. On a national scale, the campaign partnered with Age UK on the ‘Donate your words’ initiative and supported independent chocolate shops.

Carat’s accompanying media strategy was to bring people together through emotional stories and experiences, placing heavy emphasis on broadcast channels such as TV, VOD and OOH, supported by digital activity. Despite the annual media budget remaining broadly the same, the strategy generated increasingly positive results – including an uplift in the brand’s share of search.

Over four years, the campaign has seen remarkable success. In addition to re-establishing love for Cadbury Dairy Milk and rebuilding the Cadbury brand, “There’s a glass & a half in everyone” has seen annual sales value increase 22% (compared to a target of 9% growth in 5 years), and by 2021 Cadbury’s annual revenue was £261m higher than in 2017. Cadbury became Britain’s fastest-growing grocery brand – worth over £1.4 billion per year.

Other key results:

  • Cadbury Dairy Milk achieved its highest penetration levels on record, with 75% of British households buying Cadbury Dairy Milk
  • The number of people who said they’d heard something positive from the brand – or about the brand – tripled from 3% in the two years before the launch to 10% afterwards
  • 36% increase in people’s willingness to recommend Cadbury to their friends, family and colleagues.
  • 30% increase in perceived product quality/significant increase in agreement with ‘taste I love’.
  • Two percentage points increase in market share.

Chair of Judges and Salesforce President and Chief Strategy Officer, Gavin Patterson said: “This paper is an exceptional example of long-term marketing and the benefits that can bring.”

Says Convenor of Judges and Global Chief Strategy Officer at McCann, Harjot Singh: “This paper is a fantastic demonstration of how a purpose anchored in truth about the product can be used effectively in marketing and delivering measurable impact. It is particularly powerful in this case that the purpose was used to generate renewed love for a heritage brand. Judges highlighted the innovative multimedia integration over a long-term period.”

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