With Easter approaching, Meg Carter reports on why Cadbury hopes
DRTV will boost its Creme Egg sales.
Cadbury’s Creme Eggs are an unashamedly seasonal product. Released on to
the market just after Christmas each year, supplies are stopped at
Easter and on-shelf stocks are left to run their natural course. So,
with almost all activity concentrated in the first quarter of the year,
Cadbury’s marketing spend must work especially hard - and so the
confectioner is developing a number of ways in which its campaign can
deliver through the line.
The 1997 campaign broke on 1 January and television and newspaper ads
featuring the comedian, Matt Lucas - better known as ’George Dawes’ from
the BBC2 series, Shooting Stars - are running in three bursts up to
At the same time, viewers are invited to respond to a direct response TV
element carried by calling a Creme Egg telephone line.
Once in the shop, consumers are confronted with elaborate point-of-sale
materials, including a ’pick an egg’ spinner which selects one of six
ways to eat a Cadbury’s Creme Egg (from ’eat it in slow motion’ to
’nibble it and suck out the middle’). One ’spinner’ enables shoppers to
spin an arrow; a more sophisticated gizmo responds with flashing lights.
All point-of-sale items are tailored to a particular part of Cadbury’s
business - cash and carry, wholesale, grocery or impulse.
The campaign has been supported by cover-mounted ’spinners’ on selected
magazines. The total spend is estimated at pounds 3 to pounds 4 million
- a figure that has remained relatively constant although Mike Falconer,
the account director at Cadbury’s ad agency, GGT, says: ’This year,
Cadbury’s money is working harder than ever.’
DRTV is being used for the first time and care has been taken to ensure
all activity links to a unifying theme - ’how will you eat yours?’ - a
minute update of the previous ’how do you eat yours?’ strapline.
’The campaign has run for six years and has evolved through two distinct
stages,’ Falconer says. ’First, there was the horoscope strategy, then
work featuring Spitting Image models. For 1997, our brief was to refine
this theme and make consumers feel involved.’
Cadbury’s Creme Egg has always enjoyed ’rounded marketing’ because of
its seasonal product cycle, Falconer says. Each year, the process moves
from reminding the consumer of the product, encouraging purchases in the
run-up to Easter and, at the eleventh hour, warning that the Creme Egg
season will soon be over. Last year, sales amounted to some pounds 45
million - a similar level to Cadbury’s Caramel and Crunch, although
unlike these two products, the performance of Creme Eggs depends on
business across only a portion of each year.
’Our aim is to continue growing Cadbury’s Creme Eggs, but our particular
challenge is the limited season - New Year to Easter - which this year
is very short with Good Friday falling on 28 March,’ Peter Creighton,
the marketing controller of Cadbury, says. The move towards greater
integration is designed to maximise the potential of every pound spent,
’This campaign, which is designed to keep Cadbury’s Creme Eggs up to
date, is our most integrated to date. In the past, although we have used
both television and point of sale, the communication message has not
been so directly linked.’
Now, all materials share the same theme driven by the tone and style of
GGT’s above-the-line campaign.
DRTV has added an extra dimension, Falconer says. ’It was designed to
get people to do something.’ Without either a promise of any product,
perk or discount, 35,000 have so far used the line.
All hear an extension of the TV campaign with Lucas extolling the
versions of an additional selection of ways in which to eat the
Callers were not required to leave their name or address.
Activities, although co-ordinated centrally, were developed by a team
comprising GGT, the below-the-line specialist, BDP, and in-house
designers. TMD Carat handled media. Each element had to create a feeling
’Creme Eggs are far more successful when there is a build up of
excitement and anticipation because their shelf life is limited. In the
late 80s, attempts were made to relax this and make them an
all-year-round purchase but sales slipped as a result. We encouraged
Cadbury to tighten up and business has grown,’ Falconer adds.
Sara Thatcher, the account director at BDP, also believes the current
campaign is the most integrated yet for the product. ’Our work is
closely co-ordinated by the in-house display department at Cadbury, but
although we’ve also worked closely with external agencies, it has gone
BDP’s role was strategic, she adds: ’It was our responsibility to get
all elements working below the line and ensure everything matched the
The end result is certainly more involving and contemporary than past
initiatives, she believes. ’The choice of character was a wise move -
someone who appeals to kids but is known to adults as well. And the
campaign is daring enough to bring out many of his quirky aspects,
Although qualitative data is yet to be gathered, performance of the
quantative DRTV element is one clear indicator: ’So far, we are 25 per
cent ahead of forecasts,’ she says.