Cannes Lions

Cadbury Purple Hearts


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Today’s youth live on social media, their favorite place to hangout being Instagram and Facebook. It shapes them and their identity in ways we cannot even begin to fathom. Judging others basis their ‘feed’ is the reality and there is an incessant need to portray your life as perfect as possible to gain as many ‘likes’ as possible.

While social media came into existence for people to connect with friends & family and express themselves, lately it has turned into a playground of hate. Slander, casual trolling and hate messages were leading to a lot of youth being cyberbullied.

While CDM has always celebrated the goodness within the society, there was a need for the brand to evolve considering the current context and stay relevant to the new generation.

The brand had to be more provocative, while also staying true to its core DNA of being the harbinger of joy.


We collaborated with Facebook to understand motivators and inhibitors of cyber bullying and the apathetic attitude towards it. We uncovered the ‘Bystander Effect’, a psychological phenomenon which inhibits people to stand up against oppressive acts with high number of witnesses.

People get inspired to act when they see someone else step forward, creating a domino effect, leading to a deluge of support for the oppressed.

We instigated behavioral change in the youth to move from being ‘bystanders’ to standing up for their beloveds, by using a simple tool that cut across barriers. This was easily available across platforms, acting as a shorthand of solidarity whenever one identifies social trolling.

We selected the Purple Heart emoji as the representative icon to combat the hate and this paved way for the thought ‘#HeartTheHate – Purple Heart Do, Dost ka Saath Do!’ (‘Share a Purple Heart to stand by your friend against bullying’).


We deployed our strategy across youth touchpoints across social media, college campuses or OTT, etc.

To build reach and awareness of the initiative, we used impact properties like YouTube Masthead, video assets depicting cyber bullying moments being diffused with purple hearts were sharply targeted to the youth in the week leading to Friendship Day.

We partnered with popular celebrities who are the biggest targets of Internet bullies as ‘Purple’ ambassadors and got them to talk about their experiences, show the magnitude of the problem and how it can be drowned effortlessly.

We also partnered with ~200 colleges across the country to conduct ‘Purple Sessions’ wherein one popular social media influencer and an expert psychologist counselling the students on the adverse impact(s) of cyber bullying and locations which witness high student traffic had hoardings with quirky messages written, calling out to the youth to show their support with a purple heart.


Highest ever conversations recorded at 36.3k, 6x the average of any other campaign done by the brand in the last year.

YouTube masthead triggered an overwhelming 57 million views with a 38% view through rate. Higher than the industry benchmark of 30%

Influencers joining the purple heart bandwagon created 11.6k conversations and 16.7 million video views and Twitter engagement rate soared to 16% vs an industry benchmark of 8-10%.

The campaign gained further traction in the global community when fans of BTS (Bangtan Boy Band of South Korea) discovered the ‘purple heart’ and endorsed the message beyond Indian shores.

With this initiative, CDM proved that one small step, if taken by sizeable number of people can make this world a sweeter place to live.

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