Case Study of the Month | June 2023 | Editor’s pick
“We have chosen Cadbury Fingers’ sign language campaign as our first case study of the month as the way they used their brand positioning of bringing people together to deliver powerful messages really stood out, as did their creative execution. As a result, the brand achieved some great results.”
— Lynette Saunders, Senior Analyst, Econsultancy
To underline its brand positioning of bringing people together, Cadbury Fingers had partnered with the National Deaf Children’s Society on a ‘Sign with Fingers Big and Small’ advertising campaign. PR agency Tin Man Communications and content agency Oh My! needed to amplify the campaign by encouraging more people to learn British Sign Language (BSL). The strategy was to create a sense of ‘missing out’, to emotionally engage the audience with the sense of isolation felt by deaf people. Relevant influencer content teased exclusive celebrity gossip on their social media channels using British Sign Language, with incomplete subtitles. An explainer video released a day later on social media pointed users towards campaign advice and content housed on the Cadbury Fingers website. The purpose-led campaign led to a 20% uplift in awareness around Cadbury Fingers’ brand positioning.
Objectives and Aims
Tin Man Communications and Oh My! were briefed to support the Cadbury Fingers’ ATL campaign, which aimed to help bridge the communication gap between hearing and non-hearing people.
The purpose-driven campaign also needed to raise awareness of Cadbury Fingers ‘everyday moments of connection’ brand positioning.
Implementation, Execution and Key Tactics
The National Deaf Children’s Society labelled ‘Dinner Table Syndrome’ as a common problem in which deaf people are perpetually left out of conversations. Oh My! conducted omnibus research which showed that 76% of people are completely unaware of the problem, and 27% don’t know how to approach or talk to someone who is deaf.
This insight led to the strategy to recreate the exclusion regularly faced by deaf people, among the hearing community. The campaign also needed to tap into the social media-driven, cultural phenomenon of ‘FOMO’ (Fear Of Missing Out) to engage the audience emotionally with the issue.
Deaf reality TV personality, Tasha Ghouri (Love Island), and Giovanni Pernice (Strictly Come Dancing partner of deaf contestant Rose Ailing-Ellis) were chosen as relevant, macro influencers to front the campaign. Each one created a short, teaser film pegged as exclusive celebrity gossip, but which was communicated in British Sign Language. Intermittent sound and incomplete subtitles meant its news was obscured, which mimicked the experience felt by deaf people. The films were released to the influencers’ combined 2.4 million followers on their social media channels, with no explanation for the incomplete communication. This fuelled online conversation.
A day later, further video content was released on the influencers’ channels and via Cadbury Fingers social media platforms, to explain the rationale behind the teaser. A digital PR campaign highlighted the extent of the communication gap between deaf and hearing people to relevant news and lifestyle channels. All media materials were translated into BSL for fully accessible distribution.
All content directed users to a campaign hub on the Cadbury Fingers’ main brand website, where common BSL phrases and conversation starters were available alongside a selection of further learning resources. The content was created in conjunction with the National Deaf Children’s Society, and a co-creation panel made up of deaf people.
- 5 million combined organic video views
- 350,000 likes
- Over 5,000 positive comments
- Post-campaign omnibus research showed:
- A 20% increase in association between Cadbury Fingers and its ‘everyday moments of connection’ brand positioning
- 8% more people would consider learning some phrases in BSL to make deaf people feel more included