Ben Wicks, Mondelez Global Marketing Director
The Cadbury Secret Santa campaign returns in 2022 as an immersive outdoor experience
Cadbury’s market share at Christmas was lower than the rest of the year. We were tasked with rebuilding this share, driving sales and bolstering brand equity over this crucial sales period (Cadbury’s biggest of the year).
Doing so required us to think differently, avoiding the typical ‘Christmas ad’ - which in the UK means formulaic TV ads with manufactured emotion. We wanted to do something different, but with the same scale. A big national act of generosity that gave people a genuine lift when they needed it most. And by people, we mean anyone who likes chocolate. So that’s pretty much everyone
Our 2022 interactive Cadbury Secret Santa campaign transformed passive advertising channels into an immersive brand journey. Consumers accessed an exclusive Postal Service to send a secret chocolate gift to someone special, free-of-charge via a mobile-first website right there, in the street.
High impact TV and campaign comms led people to a rewarding digital experience generating 278,643 QR code scans and 149,789 Secret Santa deliveries, making it one of the most immersive, memorable and effective Christmas campaigns of 2022.
Through over 200 digital posters in every corner of the UK, our friendly postie, Jeff, enticed you to send a chocolate bar. All you had to do was spot a poster, scan the code on the poster and Jeff, helped you send it through an interactive mobile experience. Once sent, the chocolate bar would be delivered to its recipient in the real world without them knowing who it was from.
The campaign’s digital first implementation allowed us to join all of the multi-platform dots, taking typically passive advertising channels and implementing an interactive brand journey through different channels and touchpoints.
Rather than having those platforms feel siloed, we harmoniously wove them together into one experience, so that no matter where you were, you always felt part of one connected experience.
We turned digital, static and fly posters into special Cadbury Postal Services, where anyone could send a free Cadbury chocolate bar, in secret, to anyone they liked. The Cadbury Secret Santa Postal Service opened in over 280 posters across the UK from 14th November to 24th December 2022. To be as inclusive as possible for towns without digital screens our static formats came to life in augmented reality. The Cadbury Secret Santa Postal Service was a national act of generosity that put a smile on people’s faces.
To entice TV viewers and passersby, we ran ads encouraging them to locate our digital out-of-home (DOOH) placements where we see a kiosk but sometimes it was closed and sometimes open. On seeing one with a QR code; that passerby was transformed into active participants. They were fully immersed in a WebGL and AR experience that showcased Jeff, our postal service worker and his famous Cadbury kiosk, which was also featured in the TV commercial.
The kiosk itself was also digital first, being created for the AR experience, before then becoming a real life physical prop, which featured in the TVC, with Jeff, which was the same featured on the DOOH, through to the mobile-first website, which enabled consumers to send a secret chocolate gift. This experience was seamlessly linked to an e-commerce journey offering Christmas gifting opportunities. Secret Santa gift recipients were encouraged to share on social media using specific hashtags.
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