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This valentine is better than last Diwali for Cadbury, says Prashant Peres of Mondelez

Valentine’s Day season has reignited growth for chocolate brand of Mondelez India. The company is hoping that the growth would carry forward to Diwali on the back of product innovations. The company is now using digital as a primary tool to reach its TG

Prashant Peres

After a year of subdued growth, Valentine’s Day has come to rescue the confectionery giant Mondelez as the volumes for popular chocolate brand Cadbury's have finally picked up in a big way. So much so that February is even turning out to be better than last Diwali.

The company is now hoping that next Diwali would be even better than February.

“This February is definitely more lucrative than last Diwali and the coming Diwali will be more lucrative than February," Prashant Peres, Director, Marketing (Chocolates), Mondelez India told 

Targeting the youth population, the company has placed bet on product innovation. It has come out with new innovations for its popular Silk chocolate brand – a chocolate heart that pops out of the bar and an Augmented Reality-enabled gift box. To promote the special product innovations, Mondelez has given an aggressive push on digital, in its 360 degree marketing campaign. The company has launched filters on Snapchat and Facebook and it has also created campaigns and contests on social media for the new product with the tagline, ‘Pop your heart out and say it with Silk’.

Speaking about the use of digital, Prashant Peres, Director, Marketing (Chocolates), said, “Facebook and Instagram are more like a media for us where we put out a lot of communication. Gone are the days when digital was used for engagement when there were just a few thousands of people. We are changing that paradigm completely and using it as a reach medium to reach millions of people. The KPI for us is not the response of the consumers, though it is an encouragement. We are doing it for sheer awareness of the product. It is more awareness building than engagement.”

Mondelez India has been making strides in e-commerce, creating new shopping opportunities through personalisation and gifting platforms. This year, the company has also designed a gifting innovation using augmented reality (AR) to take the gifting experience a notch up. It has introduced a ‘Cadbury Joy Deliveries AR (Augmented Reality) enabled gift box’ and will roll out a limited edition pack exclusively on Amazon. The AR enabled gift box comes with two large Silk Limited Edition Valentine Chocolate bars (250 g each).

Once a gift box is sent, the receiver can experience the box coming alive with animation and virtual personalised messaging, which will be powered by a Blippar App.

Asked why the company chose Amazon alone, Abhishek Ahluwalia, ‎Business Head, eCommerce, ‎Mondelēz India, answered, “This innovation is not much about the profile of the consumer, but more about testing the innovation and we wanted to test it in a controlled environment. Since millennials are present seamlessly on social media, e-commerce and everywhere, we thought of working with a player like Blippar, and with one of our customers, Amazon.”

Ahluwalia said, “Why Amazon alone? Because we wanted to first test it out, draw learnings, refine those and internalise it before bringing out more initiatives on this. The boxes are there, but how do you improve the experience?”

The company has been doing specials for Valentine’s Day for a couple of years now. Does this February look better than Diwali? Peres said, “This February is definitely more lucrative than last Diwali and the coming Diwali will be more lucrative than February.”

The company has started distribution at colleges and points of sale and is experiencing a fantastic volume growth. The new pop out innovative chocolates will be promoted through vignettes on TV channels and movie partnerships. On the OOH front, there will be moving installations, photo booths, balloons on hoardings, moving parts in the hoardings and CCD partnership. The company has also started sampling around colleges and modern trade outlets.

Asked if millennials are the core TG, Peres stated, “We always surprise ourselves when we meet real consumers. The appeal of days like this is broad-based. Even in this Silk campaign, when we asked for customers to sing the song, not all millennials have sung the song for us. Even mother-daughter pairs have sent the entries. We oversimplify targeting just millennials.”

Mondelez India has also rolled out a new thematic TVC, where the new Heart Pop bar is the hero. The film is about two friends, a boy and a girl, at their college hangout. The boy has a bar of the new Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk Heart Pop with him in his bag, but is hesitating to pop the question with it. Every time he goes to pick up the bar from the bag, the girl looks in his direction and he loses courage. Eventually the girl notices the bar in his bag while he's looking away. She picks it up and decides to take the lead. She now proposes to the boy by popping the heart out. To her surprise, the boy gives a ‘oh my god’ expression, which one usually expects from the girl when proposed.

The TVC is supported by a 360 degree marketing campaign that includes multiple TV associations, digital, outdoor activations, exciting in-store activations and sampling. In addition, Mondelez India this year has gone a notch ahead to develop a unique gifting innovation, which probably is one-of-its-kind in the industry.

The TVC:

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