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Why Cadbury Dairy Milk’s ongoing campaigns on the theme of generosity became even more important in 2020
Mondelez has been trying to create a difference in people's lives through Cadbury Dairy Milk's generosity campaigns BI India
Cadbury Dairy Milk sold 15 million Thank You bars this year that helped sponsor insurance for around 15,000 domestic wo...
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Why Cadbury Dairy Milk’s ongoing campaigns on the theme of generosity became even more important in 2020

Cadbury Dairy Milk sold 15 million Thank You bars this year that helped sponsor insurance for around 15,000 domestic wo...
  • Cadbury Dairy Milk, for the past 2 years, has been running several campaigns across the globe around the theme of generosity.
  • However, 2020 was a year when the whole world needed just a bit more generosity and Cadbury Dairy Milk came up with campaigns and initiatives to not just talk about the philosophy of giving but also do something about it.
  • We talk to Anil Viswanathan, Senior Director, Marketing (Chocolates), Insights and Analytics, Mondelez India who tells us why generosity is at the core of everything the brand does and how it is not only translating into its campaigns but also in the way it functions as an organization.
For years, Cadbury Dairy Milk has been associated with joy, sweetness and happiness, the most obvious feelings one would associate with eating chocolates. And that has been the route they have taken in their communications too. Remember its iconic ‘Cricket’ commercial from 1993 that is still a sheer joy to watch?


When John Cadbury, the founder of the now iconic brand had set up the company in 1824, he firmly believed that chocolates had the power to make the world a better place. The brand’s logo of a glass and a half of milk used to signify that each bar has that amount of milk in it. The brand also believed that a glass and a half signifies generosity and that every person has a glass and a half in them.

Over the years, the Cadbury family continued to work towards improving the conditions of society which was both the producer and consumer of the products, and it is this spirit of doing something good for the society that has now become entrenched in the heart of the brand.

With this thought of making the world a more generous place, Mondelez International launched a generosity campaign globally. In India, it launched this generosity theme with a heart-warming campaign in 2018 where an elder brother sacrifices his bar of chocolate to make his younger brother happy. It changed its tagline from ‘Kuch Meetha Ho Jaaye’ to ‘Kuch Accha Ho Jaaye, Kuch Meetha Ho Jaaye’.


It also kickstarted its journey of doing something more than just talking about generosity by partnering with Jio for its ‘The Wrapper That Gives’ initiative. The idea was to make the wrappers useful. People could click a photo of the wrapper that would give them 1GB of data. They could either choose to keep the data or donate it to Pratham Education Foundation that would donate the data to needy schools in rural areas.

“Through this collaboration with Pratham, we were able to provide for the data requirements for one whole year for 120 schools in Maharashtra,” shared Anil Viswanathan, Senior Director, Marketing (Chocolates), Insights and Analytics, Mondelez India.

The next year, the brand wanted to take a stand against cyber-bullying which led to the #Heartthehate campaign, where the brand tried to throw light on the growing issue of trolling on social media. “Our research showed us how trolling is a tension point for consumers. We also came across this concept called the bystander effect where people don’t do much to stop a troll. The aim of the purple hearts campaign was to simply interrupt a troll.


The same year, the brand also came up with its limited edition Unity Bar to promote diversity. The bar featured dark, blended, milk and white chocolate in one block of chocolate, to signify ‘people of different castes, creed, languages, regions and religions’ and bring them together.

In 2020, pre-Covid, the brand wanted to take the generosity theme further and its idea was to acknowledge the unacknowledged in our society. “There is an increasing social divide in urban India, an increasing gap between the haves and the have-nots. In India, the power difference between the two groups is dramatic. The have-nots have also become nameless, they are a bunch of people who are keeping our houses and lives in action, the drivers, maids, the peons, the working class, everybody identified by their professions but don’t have a name and remain unacknowledged. As a country, we have not been generous to them. That was the insight we got and we wanted to act on it,” said Vishwanathan.

However, that was when Covid-19 struck the world and the brand had to take a pause. “But as a few weeks and months passed, all of us went through certain realizations, firstly that we should be thankful that we are safe and secondly, there are a lot of people out there who are risking their lives to take care of others. And with Prime Minister Narendra Modi also acknowledging their efforts, there was a feeling of camaraderie and gratitude across the nation. It seamlessly built a bridge for us to strengthen our generosity message,” added Vishwanathan.

With the numerous lockdowns and the impact it had not just on the economy but also on people from different strata of life, the health workers, the migrant workers, suddenly the idea of generosity became much more important than it would in a normal year. It turned out to be a year when the world needed a much more generous dose of generosity.

This led to the brand launching a limited-edition Cadbury Dairy Milk ‘Thank You’ bars. And to take the campaign further, the company had committed a part of the proceeds from the sale of these bars towards health insurance policies of the daily wage earners through a partnership with Nirmana, an NGO that works with the unorganized sector. It also partnered with Times of India for its Fill in the Thanks campaign and with Zee Network to #SayThankYou to the unsung heroes during the lockdown.

“We ended up selling around 15 million bars and could sponsor insurance for around 15,000 domestic workers,” he shared.

The brand also came up with its much-talked-about ‘Iss Diwali Aap #KiseKhushKarenge?’ campaign where it used technology to acknowledge local shopkeepers. When asked what it translated into on-ground, Vishwanathan said, “It was a huge communication program where we needed to individually reach out to these businesses and take their legal approvals. While many of the businesses were skeptical at first because nothing like this had ever been done, eventually they got excited. People were excited too when they spotted the name of neighborhood shops in the ads.” On what the exact motive behind the campaign was, he added, “Clearly the motive was not to drive more Cadbury sale but to help these businesses get more visibility, and through that, to get people to gift more during Diwali. If people gifted more during Diwali, our products would also be gifted. And we were able to tap into the momentum of people gifting during the festive season and we did see that translate into market sales.”


He also said that the brand was able to create a lot of positive buzz and also led to other brands getting inspired to do something similar.

While communicating this philosophy to its consumers is important, the brand is also trying to build an atmosphere of generosity within the organization too. Throwing light on a few things the organization did during this tough year, Mahalakshmi R, Director – Human Resources, Mondelez India said, “Throughout this tough year, one thing stayed constant at Mondelez India – ‘people’ continued to remain at the heart of our winning growth culture. We infused a sense of balance, agility, and resilience across all our functions, while ensuring we equip our leaders with skills to inspire remotely and pause for celebrating our teams. Little wonder that Mondelez India is at the top 10% of external market on employee engagement this year (Source: Glint Engagement survey) and has more of our colleagues in the frontlines creating magic for our consumers.

“Specifically on gratitude – our online recognition platform ‘Bravos’ saw a significant uptake with over 3000 bravos being given. We also created pauses, dedicating specific days for our leaders and colleagues to take a pause and express their thanks – either on the Bravos platform, or Yammer or using music, cards and calls. Titled #MDLZThanksU – this year we saw over 12,000 thank you messages go by across functions. A lovely way to make each of those who helped us in the year, in big ways and small, feel special!”

Going into 2021, the brand aims to further build on its generosity philosophy and come up with similar campaigns that will endeavor to bring about a difference while also spreading joy.