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Cadbury Celebrations reinvents ‘NotJustACadburyAd’ with SRK, wins hearts for promoting local businesses

The campaign executed by Ogilvy and Wavemaker blends Shah Rukh Khan’s star image using AI to create customised ads for local shops

Cadbury’s reinvented ‘NotJustACadburyAd’ campaign for this Diwali featuring actor Shah Rukh Khan, is earning accolades from netizens and advertisers alike for taking up the cause of neighbourhood stores and businesses that took a severe hit during the Covid pandemic.

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Last year, Cadbury Celebrations was fighting a battle as sales dropped by 50% amid the pandemic. Gifting reduced as people were avoiding social visits during festivals because chocolate was deemed a ‘non-essential’ commodity.

95% sales of Cadbury Celebrations happen through offline trade and, hence, it was critical for the brand to reinstate the trade’s faith in the category and the ability of Diwali to restore consumer sentiment. And that’s how the ‘NotJustACadburyAd’ was born last year.

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The campaign provided advertising platforms to local businesses that could have been affected by the pandemic. It was a hyperlocal, data-driven campaign pushed through Facebook and YouTube. The brand designed a real-time data experience in a Cadbury ad where it advertised not just for itself but also thousands of local businesses.

Last year’s campaign, executed by Wavemaker, proved successful for Cadbury as it shored up consumer sentiment and trade for the brand. It generated huge free PR valued at $1.5 million. People across platforms shared the campaign organically.

This year, the brand has taken on board Shah Rukh Khan to reinvent the ‘NotJustACadburyAd’ campaign. Not just this, it uses AI and machine learning to recreate Shah Rukh Khan’s face and voice to customise the ad for local stores. Different versions of the ad with different store names were created according to the pin codes of the audience.

The campaign has provided local shops an opportunity to create their own versions of the ad by entering the store’s information on ‘notjustacadbury.com’ and promoting it through WhatsApp and other social media. 

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Speaking about the latest campaign on LinkedIn, Pratik Shetty, Senior Manager, Marketing, Chocolates at Mondelēz International, said, “The last couple of years have been tough on all of us, particularly for small businesses. We started an initiative to promote local stores on our ads last year. This year we decided to take it up a notch higher by getting a brand ambassador for each of these local stores using a little bit of tech, a little bit of magic and a whole lot of heart. The team worked for months to bring the campaign to life, including a pilot we did on Rakhi to test if the tech works. The two main motivators for the campaign were the fact that the cause was close to our hearts and the way the team put in their entire soul to bring it to life. This is an acknowledgement to every drop of midnight oil burnt to make this happen.”

The latest campaigns:

Last year’s #notjustacadburyad:

At a time when brands such as Byju’s dropped their campaigns featuring SRK on the back of Aryan Khan’s controversy, Cadbury celebrations used the actor’s star appeal and made him the brand ambassador not only for themselves but also local businesses. This campaign has impressed many netizens, who are happy to see Shah Rukh back.

Advertising professionals have also praised the way AI has been used in the campaign and how Cadbury is ensuring their offline sales stay on track and helping millions of retailers.

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