Cadbury- Adding chocolate to the flavors of India

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 5108 , Published on 02 November 2011

Since the time of its inception Cadbury had been perceived as a chocolate meant for kids. The emphasis on the purity of milk in the chocolate by the company made it more obvious. Even during my childhood I remember a dairy milk bar brought in the home was strictly for us i.e. the kids and not for the elders. Soon Cadbury felt the necessity to extend its target segment. Thus Cadbury ventured into different segments with series of advertisements featuring teenagers, youngsters, middle aged people and last but not the least the senior citizens. Clearly Cadbury no longer wanted to be perceived as a child’s chocolate.


The first step Cadbury took in order to extend its segment was to create a TV commercial featuring a teenage couple where the girl waits for her boyfriend who arrives late and woos his girlfriend with a dairy milk bar, the couple happily feeds on the bar together. This started a new trend in India. From then on Cadbury became an indispensible stuff on dates and continues to be so even now.

After successfully capturing the teenagers, Cadbury now targeted the tweens and so it launched another commercial which featured a girl in her mid twenties getting married who spoils her bridal mehendi as she tries to gobble a dairy milk bar. Marriage definitely marks the transition from childhood to adulthood in a more general sense and Cadbury insisted on keeping the child inside u alive even after u become an adult.

Cadbury now took a bold step to capture the old aged people. They signed up Amitabh Bachchan as the brand ambassador and wanted to show India that even senior citizens can have chocolate. Mission was accomplished Cadbury was no longer considered to be a chocolate for kids instead people of all age groups were now having Cadbury.

Cadbury was the market leader in India and other brands were much insignificant to pose a threat to it. But the culture of chocolate was not that much present in India. Cadbury now positioned itself directly against the Indian sweets as it showed in its TV commercial how we can use Cadbury instead of sweets for different occasions. With the famous tagline of ‘pappu pass ho gaya’ Cadbury told Indian consumers that success can be celebrated with Cadbury as well instead of the traditional sweets. I remember how it impacted us as I got Cadbury dairy milk bars from my relatives after my board results came out. Cadbury definitely had the power to make people think the way it wanted them to think.

Soon Cadbury came out with its ‘Cadbury celebrations’ box. It was an attractive packaged cardboard box with variety of chocolates from the Cadbury family. TV commercials showing Amitabh Bachchan gifting Cadbury celebrations to his friend on diwali clearly indicated that Cadbury is trying to replace the boxes of mithai that are usually exchanged on such occasions in India. Moreover the advertisement of a brother gifting Cadbury celebrations to his sister on rakhi positioned Cadbury celebrations as a gift item as well. No wonder Cadbury was again successful as Cadbury celebrations sales sky rocketed during festivals and occasions like rakhi.

The tremendous success only motivated Cadbury to penetrate deeper into the Indian market and so it brought the concept of ‘shubh arambh’. Thus there were advertisements showing Cadbury being fed to people before they went for a new start. This time Cadbury challenged the ‘dahi shakkar before a new start’ concept of India. Slowly Cadbury was trying to position itself as a commodity for daily consumption in the Indian household. It made its strategy more obvious when it introduced a TV commercial where the family after having dinner realized that there was no desert in the house and so distributed dairy milk instead.

Cadbury is still the market leader in India and it has been successful in making the Indian consumers dance to its tunes. Cadbury showed the way and we blindly followed. cadbury has now become a part and parcel of the Indian culture. Be there an occasion or a festival or just like that we buy Cadbury. Infact Cadbury has been successful in renaming ‘chocolate’ as Cadbury in India just what Xerox did to photocopy.

This article has been authored by Avirupa Bhattacharya from IMT Ghaziabad


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