Christmas is king for Cadbury, with the festive season typically contributing 19% of annual sales.
In 2022, the Mondelēz-owned chocolate brand saw an opportunity to build brand equity, enhance retailer relations and grow Christmas retail sales value by 2.5%. There were, however, challenges to overcome, including price increases, post-pandemic slowing of demand and HFSS (high in food, salt and sugar) regulations.
Convinced a fresh approach was needed, Mondelēz and agency partner VCCP decided to put a multichannel twist on the established ‘Cadbury’s Secret Santa Postal Service’ concept. In its fifth consecutive year, the campaign offered Brits the chance to send chocolate secretly to someone special, with 120,000 bars up for grabs over the six weeks to Christmas Eve.
More than 280 digital, static and fly posters turned into interactive sites with QR codes, enabling the public to send a free Cadbury chocolate bar via an interactive mobile experience.
The brand’s 30-second TV advert featuring postman character Jeff was named by Kantar as the festive ad offering the greatest long-term effectiveness. The creative was supported by a dedicated Cadbury Secret Santa website, social and digital ads, as well as pop-up experiences in 50 Tesco stores.
Some 77% of people responding to the campaign were actively interested in gifting chocolate, while visitors to the online hub hit 1.4 million – a Mondelēz UK record. A retail sell-through of 96% helped drive a 5.3% year on year sales uptick, taking the brand’s total festive revenue to more than £230m.
Crucially, Christmas 2022 generated Cadbury’s largest market share growth for three years, helping Mondelēz scoop the 2023 Marketing Week Award for Multichannel Marketing.