FMBE Blog Post: Is Cadbury’s Experiential Stand a Burst Bubble?

cadburyBy Frank Wainwright, Editor
Cadbury’s hero Dairy Milk bar has inspired some landmark advertising, often creative and often eclectic, but laying down some bubble wrap? ‘Tastes Like this Feels’, are you serious?

Dairy Milk isn’t even bubbly. I thought it was Aero that was bubbly? Coke is also bubbly. Isn’t Coke the brand of ‘Taste the Feeling’? I’m confused.

Let’s listen to Matthew Williams talking about the brand campaign. At some point, possibly, he’ll mention how bubbly it is?

Matthew Williams, marketing director at Cadbury said: “With this campaign [Tastes Like This Feels] we want to remind people that joy is never far away. By focussing on the unique taste sensations that each chocolate bar in the range delivers, consumers will be able to easily identify the right bar for them that will lead to their moment of joy – whether it’s the intense satisfaction that can only be achieved with the classic Cadbury Dairy Milk, the indulgent experience you can expect from Cadbury Dairy Milk Medley, or the adventurous experience of Cadbury Big Taste.”

Not bubbly then, but joyful. Bubbles are joyful, but campaign objectives  show quite lofty aims. If that’s the big wish then starting things off with a bubble wrap themed stand in Westfield and a –take-your-shoes-off-please – floor to pop just seems, how can one put it, a bit flat?

I guess joy was, to some extent, created. Certainly participants duly played and smiled for the cameras. 3.7 million viewers of the pop video on Cadbury’s Facebook page seems successful enough. But surely, surely in the age of Amazon and Ebay, bubble wrap evokes packaging emotions in many of us rather than unbridled, must-share-on-Facebook style joy.

“Oh look mum, some packaging. Can I pop it?”

“Sure, but let me set the camera first, your gran would love to see you do that.”

It is hard to help the feeling that Cadbury has decided that its platform is fully ‘experiential’ and someone has read the ‘switch on the senses’ rule book. In the rulebook we learn that touch makes an experience memorable.

We have also been educated to learn that just handing out a sample isn’t immersive enough. And yet Dairy Milk is an impulse purchase FMCG, so truly memorable big budget brand experiences can be hard to justify and are challenging to get right.

But this is Cadbury we are talking about – fun quirky Cadbury of Bournville where Dairy Milk is still made, not practical Cadbury of Poland where Mondelez manufactures so much chocolate.

Sadly, bursting some packaging materials probably does weakly equate to a brand experience. It was very nicely presented bubble wrap, and Westfield is much more theatrical than most parcel depots. It will be more memorable than a plain advertising poster by many many multiples – especially with the samples on offer and brand ambassadors to chat to. Also the stand costs are low and health and safely are less likely to worry than they would if you put up a more ambitious inflatable such as a massive bouncy bridge or castle… Sigh

This experience is play it safe for the advertiser, play it safe for the families. But like the unambitious bear itching its back in the TVC, this isn’t the new drumming gorilla of brand experiences and it seems a major regression from the truly joyful Joyville,

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