I have always admired Cadbury’s ad campaigns. Remember the one with the ad with the jingle Kuch Khaas hai, zindagi mein (there is something special in life)? Yes, the one where the girl wallops from the stand onto the field dodging the security guards celebrating her boyfriend’s six on the cricket field. Even now when I play the ad on YouTube, someone invariably stands next to me to watch along and we end up humming the tune. That to me is what an ad should do – draw the viewer to the brand so close that it becomes almost impossible to break away. The ad was released in 2007 and five years later it still has the impact. I am not talking about nostalgia in the way we would think about the good old Hamara Bajaj’ or the Frooti ads but about the ad itself becoming the brand epitome. Even if the ad were to be aired today as if it were a new ad, it would still run to become a success. From that ad to the Pappu Pass Ho Gaya (Pappu finally passed!) with Amitabh Bachchan was a step forward. However, the latest campaign in the current avatar – Shubh Aarambh (Good beginnings) is a step down from its predecessors.
The campaign plays into different scenarios such as hostel ragging, wife waiting to tell her husband that she is pregnant and a reception party where two strangers meet over a table. The ads all have a feel good factor no doubt but they do not build the platform to engage the viewer.
Viewer engagement does not necessarily stop at putting a smile on their face or an emotion that tingles. It goes on further to get the viewer up, close and personal with the product in a way that viewers think of the brand on every occasion possible. Cadbury today commands strong brand equity in the market. The brands that come closest in comparison would be Coca Cola and Vodafone. The latest campaigns of both brands (reviewed here and here) are what a brand like Cadbury needs to do. Take the market by storm and aim to be the talk on everyone’s lips. Even till date, Pappu pass ho gaya is a phrase that I have seen people using in many a time. Cadbury should build campaigns that stretch far beyond just the product and tactical strategies.
Rating: The campaign does little justice to Cadbury that has come to become a brand that other brand measure themselves to. It’s time that Cadbury builds bigger than life campaigns.