Cadbury Schweppes – a successful marketing campaign

Following the finding of salmonella in some of its chocolate products in 2006, Cadbury Schweppes aimed to increase sales for its confectionary products by more than 6 per cent this year. However, it has beaten its own forecast with above-target chocolates sales in Britain by increasing its spend on marketing. The focus for the sales growth was a recent and very effective advertising campaign to relaunch Dairy Milk. (The Times – 12 December 2007)

Central to the £6.2 million campaign has been an advertisement featuring a gorilla. This was first released as a television commercial with a gorilla playing the drum track on Phil Collins' hit In the Air Tonight. This has attracted almost cult viewing and become a huge internet hit. It has had seven million viewings on YouTube where the site's users have made about 100 spoofs. (The Times – 12 December 2007)

Young consumers are attracted to Crunchie and Flake bars but not always to Dairy Milk. Cadbury's aim was to create an advert that would tap into the younger market. While television advertising is perceived to be more effective for people over 35, digital advertising and internet viral campaigns are often the best ways to reach young consumers. A re-launch through viral advertising of the Wispa chocolate bar, after four years' absence, has resulted in more than 20 million Wispa bars being sold in Britain since they returned to shelves in the first week in October 2007. (The Times – 12 December 2007)

Todd Stitzer, Chief Executive of the Cadbury Schweppes group said:”While the economic outlook for 2008 is uncertain, we are confident that our trading momentum will carry on into the New Year, supported by our confectionery growth and efficiency initiatives.”   (BBC Online – 11 December 2007)

However, the cost of materials such as dairy products, energy and aluminium for packaging is expected to increase by 5% next year and could lead to higher prices for consumers. (The Times – 12 December 2007)  This could provide further challenges for the industry.

A marketing challenge or company setback, leads a company to examine its marketing strategy and marketing mix in order to re-emphasise the brand and re-launch products.

Two Times 100 case studies demonstrate how other companies deal with similar activities:
Kellogg, a brand leader in the breakfast cereal field, recognises that from time to time it is necessary to re-energise the life cycle of a product to maintain or increase market position
McDonald's, one of the best-known brands worldwide, continually aims to build its brand by listening to its customers and identifying the various stages in the marketing process.


The Times (print edition) -“Something in the air for Cadbury as gorilla advert sweetens sales” – 12 December 2007

Times online -“Monkey magic sweetens Cadbury chocolate sales” – 12 December 2007

BBC News – Wispa return helps Cadbury sales, 11th December 2007

The Times 100 Case Studies – Kellogg's, Using aims and objectives to create a business strategy

The Times 100 Case Studies – McDonald's – The marketing process

Potentional Questions:

  • List the 4Ps that make up the marketing mix.
  • Discuss the importance of the product positioning process that leads to the establishment of the brand in the market place.