The celebrities are joined by fellow ITV talent Christine Bleakley, Phillip Schofield, Fearne Cotton and Stephen Mulhern in six festive TV spots. Each ad shows the stars together for Christmas, offering their unique take on seasonal stalwarts such as Secret Santa and the customary game of Charades.
The first spot is tipped to reach 7.3 million adults when it debuts during Coronation Street tomorrow (14 November), while most people in the UK are predicted to have seen the ad come Christmas due to media buys around ITV’s primetime shows. Idents will also appear around the broadcaster’s holiday programming, including the Catchphrase Christmas and All Star Family Fortunes Christmas specials.
Despite concentrating media on ITV, Cadbury believes the popularity of the broadcaster’s shows and presenters can help it top 2013’s £2.5m effort for return-on-investment and creativity. Last year’s campaign generated strong sales but was “too safe”, the brand admits because it was its first major push for Christmas.
Matthew Williams, marketing director at Cadbury, told Marketing Week it is looking to stand out from the flurry of “similar looking” Christmas TV ads, with the majority unlikely to be shared or discussed by people.
“Christmas to UK advertising is becoming what the Super Bowl is to the US advertising market,” he adds. “Some people may think a partnership with ITV means that we’ve limited the scale compared to last year’s approach and have gone from a broadcast strategy to a more targeted one. We’ve worked hard with ITV to ensure that the campaign is seen by most of the UK population.
“With last year’s campaign we looked at what others were doing and tried to do something similar. Now we’ve worked to create something that is authentic to the Cadbury brand and gives us content that we think people are genuinely going to want to share. There are some ads out there I wouldn’t look forward to seeing and I think in today’s age when people can skip ads that’s the wrong approach to have.”
Cadbury will share the ads alongside outtakes and additional content across its social media channels. A combination of paid and viral content on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will be used to help drive purchases in the run up to Christmas, providing further learnings for its “Storytelling at Scale” social media strategy.