Wispa - For the love of Wispa: a social media-driven success story

Principal Authors: Ross Farquhar – Cadbury; Rachel Barrie and Tom Goodwin – Fallon London
Contributing Authors: Karl Weaver and David Hartley – Data2Decisions


This was seen by many of the judges as a seminal paper in terms of the use of social media, and Facebook in particular, as a source of inspiration, creative content, and media deployment. This was a case that illustrates the power of brand fans and the impact that can be achieved through the successful harnessing of these ambassadors. After more than a decade of decline Wispa was discontinued in 2003 due to poor sales. A few years later, after Wispa lovers campaigned for its return on Facebook, Cadbury brought the bar back, first as a limited edition, and then as a full-scale relaunch but on a modest budget. In a ‘traditional’ launch, support would have been short-lived. A creative and media strategy with social media and Wispa fans at its heart turned budgetary restriction into an opportunity. The ‘For the love of Wispa’ campaign asked fans to pledge their time, talent or belongings in exchange for chocolate, and then turned these into a TV advert. The social-media-led model helped Wispa become Britain's best selling chocolate bar with sales of £92.5m and delivered a payback of £3.32 on every £1 invested. This will be a paper read far and wide by all hoping to understand better how social media can be used at the heart of a communications campaign, rather than just as a way to spread the word.