Report on Shemaroo

How Cadbury perfected its communication in India

MUMBAI: What comes to your mind when you hear ‘kuch meetha ho jaaye?’ If you’ve been in India for the last two decades, you would instantly blurt out Cadbury. But the popular Indian chocolate has a 100-year-old history.

In June 1905 in England, Cadbury made its first Dairy Milk bar, with a higher proportion of milk than previous chocolate bars, and it became the company's best-selling product by 1914. Cadbury India, now known as Mondelez India, began its operations in the country as early as 1948 by importing chocolates.

The Indian chocolate industry was worth Rs 58 billion at the end of 2014 and is predicted to reach Rs 122 billion at a compound annual growth rate of 16 per cent by 2019. According to the 2016 Euromonitor International report, the chocolate confectionery market in India is projected to grow at 8 per cent per annum between 2016 and 2021 to reach Rs 16,200 crore (on constant value) from Rs 11,256 crore in 2016, backed by better retailing across rural areas. Mondelez is the market leader in India’s chocolate space with more than 65 per cent market share and Cadbury Dairy Milk is its highest-selling product that has a market share of 41 per cent.

Mondelez India has given birth to some of the most memorable ads in its 70 years of existence in the Indian market with catch-phrases that come to us at the tip of our tongue—‘kuch khans hai zindagi mein’, ‘shubh aarambh’, ‘pappu paas ho gaya’, ‘aaj pehli tareek hai’ and ‘kiss me.’

All these notable campaigns are attributed to Ogilvy & Mather (O&M), an advertising agency that has been associated with the brand for over 26 years.

English was the medium of communication for Cadbury’s when the chocolate market was a niche in 1948. Mondelez India director of marketing for chocolates category Prashant Peres believes that all of Cadbury’s communication throughout the years has been about relations and bringing people joy in celebrating relations. While that has remained constant, what has changed is what the brand is trying to achieve with advertising.

"In the beginning, we were just trying to say that chocolate is a nice treat for kids but today Dairy Milk is a mass brand and it is a part of everyone’s heart. We have made a huge change in communication right from talking to kids to being occasion specific to now a casual consumption product,” he adds.

The brand has always been known for its loveable advertisements that make you want to sing along and do a little jig yourself. We take you down memory lane and explore how the brand communication for Cadbury Dairy Milk has changed and evolved over the years.

1993: The brand launched its first TVC in India in 1993 showcasing a teenage girl watching cricket in the stadium and then jumps into the ground, eating a Cadbury chocolate as soon as the cricketer hits a century.

1994: Another advertisement showed a to-be bride with henna on her hands, trying hard to open the wrapping of Cadbury chocolate with her elbows. The ad showed that teenagers too can enjoy a treat.

1999: With the tagline ‘khane walo ko khaane ka bahana chahiye’, the ad featuring popular video jockey Cyrus Brocha became an instant hit among viewers. The objective behind the communication was to make the chocolate category more socially and culturally relevant and drive penetration in the process as the penetration level of the chocolate category in 1999 was 19 per cent in the urban market at the time.

2002: This was when Cadbury changed its strategy. Having tapped all age-groups, it wanted to project Cadbury chocolates as a meetha – thereby trying to eat into the market of traditional Indian sweets. Advertisements were doled out showing Cadbury chocolate being enjoyed at every possible instance.

2003: With this ad, the company aimed to position the brand as not just an occasion-based chocolate but as more of a casual consumption habit with the ‘khush hoon khamakha’.

2005: Passing an exam always calls for a celebration and when Pappu finally does finally clear his 12th standard exams, it calls for a sweeter celebration. The new communication from Cadbury's Dairy Milk extended the core promise of happiness to yet another 'moment of joy' in one's life. The brand signed actor Amitabh Bachchan as a brand ambassador.

2008: In this ad, Cadbury vouches that pay day is always a reason to celebrate. The brand pays a tribute to the salaried employees by giving them another reason to celebrate the payday.

2009: The campaign showcased people living a fast life in the cities spreading happiness during the festival of lights among neighbours, the postman, the pizza delivery boy and many others who, though significant, are never valued for their little contributions that bring joy to one’s life. The core thought behind the new campaign is to surprise those who work unconditionally on Diwali day and at least expect their little gestures to be appreciated.

2010-2012: Cadbury by now had launched its campaign 'shubh aarambh’ that was based on the concept of the Indian tradition of having something sweet before every auspicious occasion, with the belief that it leads to a favourable outcome.

2014: In a significant move, Cadbury decided to move away from its occasion-related brand positioning and to make chocolate consumption a casual habit with its tagline – ‘dil jo keh raha hai suno’. The campaign was in sync with Cadbury’s global proposition of 'Free the Joy’.

2015: With an aim to change its communication, Cadbury launched this campaign showing the bonding between a saas and bahu (mother-in-law and daughter-in-law) duo. The ad shows a small-town mother-in-law and daughter-in-law strengthening their bond of friendship with a piece of chocolate.

2016: Mondelez International created animated ads as early as 1980’s in the United States and other markets but the concept came to India only in 2004 when Mondelez India (then known as, Cadbury India) decided to have an animation film to promote its new product. Cadbury introduced an animated alien series in 2016 to promote its product with #InterstellarParty where the aliens were thoroughly enticed by the chocolate. The song became an instant hit among viewers.

The brand stopped creating ads specifically for Cadbury Dairy Milk as its focus shifted to newer variants that the company launched in the market including Silk Oreo, Lickables and Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk.

Latest Reads
Wavemaker India wins media mandate for Luminous Power Technologies

New Delhi: Home electrical company, Luminous Power Technologies on Wednesday appointed Wavemaker India as its integrated media partner for all categories across Inverters, Batteries, Solar and Home Electricals. Wavemaker India will manage the brand’s traditional and digital media duties including...

MAM Media and Advertising Account
Nivea India appoints Ajay Simha as marketing director

New Delhi: Nivea India on Wednesday appointed Ajay Simha as the marketing director. Simha was earlier responsible for the Nivea body care and cleansing and baby care portfolio across the Middle East and North Africa.

MAM Media and Advertising People
PUMA Motorsport signs cricketer Yuvraj Singh as face of the brand in India

New Delhi: Global sports brand PUMA on Wednesday extended its partnership with former Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh. He will now be seen in a new avatar as the face of PUMA Motorsport in India, showcasing his passion for fast cars and sports-inspired fashion. With this, Yuvraj also joins the brand’...

MAM Marketing MAM
Saraf Furniture to hire 250 professionals from the LGBTQ+ community

New Delhi: In a bold move, which is perhaps a first for Corporate India, furniture brand Saraf Furniture is actually walking the talk when it comes to championing LGBTQ+ rights at the workplace. The solid wood furniture player announced that it will hire about 200-250 professionals from the LGBTQ+...

MAM Marketing MAM
Havas Group India appoints Anjali Gupte as CFO

Mumbai: Havas Group India has appointed Anjali Gupte as chief financial officer, further bolstering its senior leadership team. Based out of Mumbai, Gupte will report to Havas Group India CEO Rana Barua and also Asia Pacific Group CFO Brice Pinoncely.

MAM Media and Advertising People
Second Covid wave weakens consumer sentiments, anxiety at an all-time high

Consumer anxiety is at its highest level since the coronavirus outbreak hit India last year, shows the latest round of consumer sentiment survey conducted by Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

MAM Marketing MAM
Shifts in Consumer trends to look out for by 2030: Dentsu report

Consumers are likely to prioritise concerns over climate change and data privacy, and look for 'Titan Brands' that fulfill all their lifestyle needs and technology up-gradation over the next decade, says a new report published by Dentsu International.

MAM Marketing MAM
izil Beauty onboards Nora Fatehi as global brand ambassador

Bollywood performer and International icon, Nora Fatehi has been roped as the first-ever global ambassador for izil Beauty, a brand known for their luxurious skincare offering, drawing influences from the rich heritage of Moroccan beauty rituals.

MAM Marketing MAM
Marcom firm Tute Consult hires Shweta Mehrotra as Strategy Head

New Delhi: Integrated marcom and PR agency Tute Consult on Tuesday strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of Shweta Mehrotra as the strategy head. Mehrotra will be working closely with Tute Consult founder Komal Lath and oversee strategies and operations across the board. Her...

MAM Media and Advertising People

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required