Will Cadbury learn a lesson in engagement?

Will Cadbury learn a lesson in engagement Last week, rumours surfaced that Cadbury is rethinking its high-profile flagship Spots v Stripes London 2012 marketing campaign. The reason? Failing to engage its consumers.

Cadbury has stated that digital and social media are key channels for the campaign but it would appear they are struggling to get consumers on board.

Marketing Magazine editor Noelle McElhatton gave comment on the issue yesterday asking Cadbury “What’s the big idea?”. She suggested that Cadbury had become “more excited about the medium (social media) than the message” – an observation that is probably ringing painfully true with Cadbury.

Cadbury is not relying solely on digital in its attempt to engage consumers – they have taken the campaign on tour – but McElhatton asks “Where is the strategy? Where is the idea?”. This confusion over strategy rings alarm bells with us.

We tend to bang on about how there is no better way to engage your consumers with a brand message than face-to-face, but equally important is where this activity fits within a strategy. Once again, it seems as though experiences have been bolted on to a predominantly digital strategy.

McElhatton sums up her comment by saying “Engagement isn’t just a fashionable word in the marketing lexicon; it’s about the fundamentals of what persuades a consumer to give up their time to an advertiser. Cadbury needs to dig a little deeper if it’s going to stay in the race.”

We couldn’t agree more. Whether Cadbury will indeed dig a little deeper remains to be seen. A strategy U-turn is unlikely but could serve as an important lesson to one of Britain’s much-loved brands.

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