LONDON: Cadbury, the UK chocolate brand owned by US giant Mondelez, is ditching its six-year-old “Free the Joy” marketing campaign to concentrate instead on messages that emphasise everyday moments of kindness and generosity.

With its eye very much on a return to the philanthropic principles of its 19th century founder, John Cadbury, the company has launched a £12m campaign with the aim of reconnecting with the nation.

“Our founder John Cadbury was a philanthropist, and there are so many examples of acts of kindness that he did,” said Benazir Barlet-Batada, Cadbury’s brand equity lead, in comments reported by Marketing Week.

“The best example is the creation of Bourneville, where he provided homes for factory workers, there was a doctor’s surgery and cricket and football pitches,” she added.

“That was an example of his generosity, and we want our new global brand platform to shine a light on our roots, but also shine a light on acts of kindness existing today.”

The campaign will be underpinned by digital, social, PR, experiential and sampling activations, but was due to kick off last weekend with a new TV ad called “Mum’s birthday”.

Created by Cadbury’s new agency VCCP, it tells the story of a young girl going into a shop to buy a bar of chocolate for her mother’s birthday, but she has only a few buttons and other knick-knacks with which to pay.

The kindly shopkeeper accepts these trinkets in lieu of payment, but allows the little girl to keep her favourite, a miniature unicorn, before she hands over the chocolate to her mum, who is waiting outside.

Although Barlet-Batada rejected suggestions that Cadbury’s previous brand-positioning around joy lacked effectiveness, she said: “We wanted to move to a more down-to-earth positioning to celebrate our brand values, which have always existed.”

Cadbury, one of the best-known family brands in the UK, was taken over by Kraft Foods in a controversial £11.9bn acquisition in 2010 before a further reorganisation saw it become part of spin-off Mondelez in 2012.

Back then, YouGov’s BrandIndex assigned Cadbury an index score of 43.8, based on metrics such as quality and reputation, but this has since dropped to 25.6.

As such, the company is likely to keep a close eye on how its new marketing campaign improves its standing with consumers.

Sourced from Marketing Week, Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff