Cadbury has always supported Easter in a big way. "It's our biggest season," says Megan Sweeney, brand manager for Cadbury.
But after years of not marketing during Christmas, Cadbury has shifted back to celebrating this time of year with events to help build and strengthen the brand’s emotional connection with Canadians.
It’s doing this through surprise moments in major Canadian cities including Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa. Its goal was to “surprise consumers with unique and unexpected events and encourage them to pause even for just a few minutes and enjoy the season.”
Two weeks ago, at Toronto’s Don Mills shopping centre, a horse-drawn Cadbury Christmas carriage gave shoppers a break from shopping. They also handed out candy. This past weekend, Ottawa residents were treated to an afternoon of free skating.
“We set up a Cadbury lounge where people come and get out of the cold play some board games and have some chocolate.” They had a DJ and surprised fans with a performance by six-time Canadian champion and Olympic Bronze Medallist Joannie Rochette.
This coming weekend in Vancouver, Cadbury will be at the menchant light maze and market which is said to be the largest light maze in the world. “We will be within the market with a 15-ft. Cadbury snow globe," says Sweeney. "Consumers can go inside and play with the snow and take some pictures we thought this would be very special for Vancouver because they don’t get a lot of snow.”
So far, 4000 free products have been handed out.
"We are also handing out coupons," says Sweeney. "We wanted to close the loop in terms of the consumer purchase cycle and make sure while they are getting their free samples they are also encouraged to go back into store, which is great for grocers as well."
Cadbury has been part many consumers’ holiday traditions, so the company wanted to build on the campaigns it had been doing throughout the year and it fit well within this time frame.
“We launched a new TV spot and through the unique holiday experiences we are really just trying to encourage people to enjoy the season and have Cadbury be a part of those holiday traditions,” Sweeney says.
As for next year? The company will evaluate this program and wants to repeat it next year and perhaps grow it.