Indie developers help Cadbury drive digital

Kraft Foods is asking independent developers and start-up companies to produce digital marketing projects for its Cadbury brand as part of a wider effort to “fundamentally” change how it builds relationships with consumers.


The FMCG company will host a series of developer gatherings over the next 12 months to crowdsource digital initiatives for its marketing activity such as Joyville.

It follows Cadbury’s first developer event last month where participants competed for the chance to build an app for the brand’s London 2012 sponsorship activity.

Sonia Carter, head of digital at Kraft Foods Europe, told Marketing Week the move is a long-term commitment to building relationships with entrepreneurs.

She adds: “This is why we’re not buying the IPs off the developers. We’re interested in what’s possible when you make a brand as well loved as Cadbury available to developers who often don’t get a chance to get access to a big company like Kraft.

“A big company like Kraft is not necessarily a first obvious port of call for the best talent but we want to work with the best because we have amazing brands. We need to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to marketing and reaching out to developers and start-ups can help us to do this. We’re working with these people to build long-term relationships with our consumers.’

She adds Kraft will “continue to roll out programs like this until our culture is changed.”

Kraft is also planning to roll the scheme out in Brazil and India, two of its top developing markets, for some of its other brands.

The initiative is the brain-child of VP of global digital and consumer engagement Bonin Bough who set up a similar scheme for PepsiCo in the US. The plan was later expanded to Europe, India and Brazil.

Bough sees London as the new Silicon Valley “but with a gateway to the emerging and international markets.”

He adds: “We are looking to partner with startups and the developer community by providing unparalleled access to our brands, our people and ultimately the resources to help bring breakthrough ideas to life.”

Developer outreach programmes are fast-becoming a key platform for brands to source potential marketing ideas. In March, O2-parent Telefonica moved ahead with plans to work with a team of NFC developers, while Honda is currently using its developer programmed to generate marketing campaigns.

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