Cannes Lions

Cadbury Dairy Milk: Thank You


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Cadbury Dairy Milk has been the first taste of chocolates for a billion+ Indians and proudly ‘owns’ the sweet space amongst Indians’ tastebuds. To unlock the next phase of growth, the brand had shifted gears beyond building the functional attributes of chocolate, to position itself as a sweetener of interpersonal relationships.

In light of COVID-19 crisis that hit globally and resulted in national lockdown, the economic machinery of India came to a standstill. The environment was gloomy with people losing their livelihoods and struggling to make ends meet. Chocolates, which is considered discretionary and often an impulse purchase, faced potential deprioritization to other essential categories and lack of in-person shopping.

We needed Reignite category growth in the aftermath of national lockdown while invoking the generous instinct of Indians by encouraging them to be generous despite the circumstances.


To ensure our campaign cut through the Thank You messaging, we employed several strategies:

Acknowledge the Unacknowledged: While most brands were typically thanking the medical staff and frontline workers, there were a lot of other professions whose efforts were largely unacknowledged.

Build scale proportionate to that required by a market leader, ensure platforms chosen for the campaign cut across demo+geos.

Carriers of Brand Message become Participants in the Brand Campaign: partner with the biggest media houses across India and encourage them to participate in our campaign by thanking those behind the scenes.

Move from merely Story Telling to Story Doing:

To make a material difference to the campaign, we launched limited edition packs with the CDM logo replaced with “Thank You” in 8 languages covering the length and breadth of the country. Proceeds from the sales of Thank You Bars were used to fund medical insurance of daily wage employees.


Considering the scale needed for a category leader, we partnered with the biggest entertainment network (Zee), biggest sporting event (Indian Premier League), biggest reality show (Kaun Banega Crorepati), biggest mobile network (Jio) and the biggest Film Awards (Filmfare).

Each partner thanked the production crew who work behind the scenes to bring us entertainment but are almost never acknowledged. Many of them had put themselves at considerable risk to continue production even during lockdown. These were played out as video assets, social media posts and content capsules on live TV.

Zee Network also rejigged their programming to air Ending Credits at the beginning of the shows. Prime-time news anchors thanked cameramen during live feed. Popular sportscasters thanked production and support staff. CDM committed to insuring 2 underprivileged people for every run scored by Mumbai Indians, the most successful IPL team. Filmfare awards brought movie support staff to the red carpet.


20 Mn+ Thank You bars sold

The campaign helped halt the sales degrowth caused owing to national lockdown; instead the brand witnessed a 20% upswing during the May-July period which sustained through rest of 2020

The campaign also had a significant positive rub-off on the rest of the category

20000+ laborers, belonging to the lowest strata of the society, were provided health Insurance from the bar proceeds as well as the runs scored by Mumbai Indians

The campaign reached out to 350mn+ urban consumers; 90% of our target consumers were reached on TV while more than 150mn people engaged with the brand across touchpoints

Star Sports showcased the case study as part of their Brandathon- their showreel comprising of some of the best work done during IPL 2020

Mumbai Indians showcase the CDM Thank You campaign as the best piece of work done by the team in collaboration with brands

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