Cannes Lions

Shah Rukh Khan-My-Ad

OGILVY, Mumbai / MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL / 2023

Awards:

1 Grand Prix Cannes Lions
1 Silver Cannes Lions
1 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Background and Context:

Gifting was the fastest-growing segment until the pandemic, and Diwali gifting alone contributes nearly 50% of Cadbury Celebrations' annual revenue. However, the second wave brought challenges in the form of inflation, reduced opportunities, and lower pay.

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Fear of social contact accelerated the shift towards online shopping, making it more challenging for small retailers who had no way of competing with behemoths like Amazon, Walmart's Flipkart, and their ilk.

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While efforts were made to scale up Celebrations eCommerce availability, unit economics were not conducive, and couldn’t cover the vast numbers from offline sales (95% came from offline retail).

The economic cost of the pandemic had made people self-centered and indifferent to others' difficulties, and they were unlikely to care about small retailers. Further, they had no reason to choose them over the discounts and convenience of online retail.

Challenge:

How can we increase the brand’s penetration against socio-economic headwinds?

To answer this, we had to:

1. Overcome self-centeredness and lack of community spirit among people due to social distancing which created barriers for mental availability.

2. Overcome the reluctance of small shops to stock up because of demand apprehensions which created barriers for physical availability.

Solution:

Go back to our intrinsic purpose of generosity, rooted in Cadbury’s founding values to rescue it from the grip of a self-centeredness pandemic.

Insight: Our research showed us that when people helped each other, they felt more connected and together.

We saw this at the height of the Covid outbreak when people helped each other find hospitals, oxygen cylinders, and care for the children and elderly. The shared adversity created an outpouring of empathy and generosity and unlocked an incredible sense of community.

Strategy: Renew the sense of community by evoking empathy. Turn Celebrations marketing into an act of unexpected generosity to rescue the business and brand from the grip of a self-centeredness pandemic.

Idea: To nudge kindness and inspire generosity, we set an example by gifting our entire advertising budget and our Celebrity brand ambassador to promote small businesses; lending them a helping hand, in their hour of need.

Execution: Imagine how millions of Indians felt when Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) - the world’s biggest movie star asked them to shop at the store around the corner by its name. Imagine how small local store owners felt to have SRK be their brand ambassador.

By leveraging data, AI, machine learning, and geo-targeting, we made this possible.

We created hyper-personalized SRK-My-Ads for every store - not a dozen, not hundreds but tens and thousands with SRK encouraging purchases from specific local stores close to the user.

The campaign covered 500+ pin codes and was launched on YouTube and amplified on Meta platforms simultaneously.

Since we couldn’t cover all stores, we created a website NotJustACadburyAd.com – empowering users to create their own versions of the ad, for their business, or for a neighborhood store and share it on their WhatsApp groups and social media feeds.

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