Cadbury is well known for its imaginative video ads, but lately it has been stepping up its marketing efforts with a series of experiential events.

From students to mums, here’s a look at how the chocolate brand is using this method to engage consumers of all ages.

Targeting specific demographics with timely events

The last week of September is traditionally Fresher’s Week in the UK.

And what better way to engage a bunch of excitable students than with a Double Decker bus complete with a ball-pit, fun slide and, of course, chocolate?

Aiming to get students to ‘unleash the child within’, last month the Double Decker fun bus campaign toured university campuses up and down the country.

Alongside the recent television advert, it marks Cadbury’s aim of marketing its single chocolate bars, like Double Decker, Crunchie and Wispa, towards a younger demographic.

With chocolate sales declining in recent years, we’ve seen the brand increase its digital efforts.

Since we wrote this article, there’s been a definite move towards platforms with a traditionally younger user base.

Cadbury was one of the first brands to experiment with Snapchat sponsored lenses and continues to focus heavily on the platform.

Further to this, it certainly makes sense to add experiential marketing into the mix.

Considering the fact that youngsters are watching less live television and more subscription-based media like Netflix, experiential allows the brand to disrupt media consumption entirely, instead targeting consumers directly.

By delighting students with a fun and immersive experience, Cadbury ensures that they will relate to the brand in the context of their new environment, and in turn increase positive sentiment.

Aligning the experience with the brand

Earlier this year, Cadbury launched the new Dairy Milk Medley bar with a pop-up event in London’s Soho.

Described as the ‘ultimate experience for chocolate lovers’, it was a spa-themed event, including a variety of treatments inspired by Medley’s flavours and textures.

The beginning of this year also saw the opening of the Cadbury’s Crème Egg café – a similarly creative pop-up, allowing visitors to sample Crème Egg toasties, order via the ‘Press for crème egg’ button and play in a ball pit.

Both are great examples of how the brand approaches experiential.

While it is important to increase positive associations, Cadbury also uses these events to cement the brand’s identity – i.e. what it stands for and how it relates to the consumer’s own life.

Cadbury celebrates its products as being comforting and joyful in equal measure.

As a result, its events are filled with experiences that reflect and evoke these feelings in the audience.

The slogan and hashtag often used by Cadbury across its campaigns, #tasteslikethisfeels, encapsulates this notion perfectly.

Creating anticipation and excitement

One way Cadbury creates buzz around its experiential marketing is to add an element of exclusivity.

The brand’s next event is a secret immersive experience designed to celebrate the new Milk Tray advert (and the new incarnation of the Milk Tray Man, played by firefighter Patrick McBride).

However, instead of putting on a pop-up that anyone can attend, it is inviting a limited number of guests to a top secret event.

Partnering with YPlan to release the tickets, it is ramping up the exclusive element even further by sending guests a secret identity, dress code and details of the location beforehand.

Speaking about the upcoming event, international marketing manager of Mondelēz, Steve Rich, said: “By offering them the opportunity to join Patrick on his first ever mission at this unique event, we hope to increase excitement and get everyone talking about Cadbury Milk Tray once more.”

Likewise, by building on a sense of anticipation and rewarding consumers, the brand is clearly hoping that those ‘lucky few’ guests will be more likely to share their experience on social.

Demonstrating that timing is also an important factor, Cadbury is hoping it will kick off the wider Milk Tray campaign with a bang.

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