Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cadbury... continues

I’m going to admit it, I think Cadbury have managed their about face quite well.

There are a lot of things I could comment on here, but if you want to know the down and dirty details about
Cadbury taking palm oil back out of their chocolate, I’m sure Stuff, NZ Herald or NBR cover it better than I could as they probably got the press release. If that’s what you’re looking for, follow those links.

What I would like to comment on is their actions on the peripheral of said press release.

Quick background:

  • Cadbury takes Palm Oil out of chocolate
  • Cadbury get a little slammed by a phenomenal comparison TVC by Whittakers
  • Cadbury put a pretty lame PR/Spin full page ad in main mets & Sundays
  • Everything goes pretty quiet, but Cadbury is suddenly on special in most supermarkets I walk into.

Throughout all of this I was a little unimpressed that Cadbury were broadcasting their message and not having a conversation with their consumers, or even in the space where their consumers were bitching about them (read: Twitter).

  • Then Cadbury release the statement that they are going to remove palm oil from their chocolate
That last one happened yesterday, the 17th of August.

In their press release (which you can read in full
here) they state that they genuinely believed that they were making the right decisions for the right reasons (that part is a little debatable, but we’ll overlook that) and that in response to consumer complaints, they are going back to using cocoa butter.

Consumers spoke,
Cadbury listened. How to reconnect with your consumer who is not happy about something you have done? Acknowledge them, listen to what they’re saying and change if possible/its the right thing to do. Then get a LOT of coverage about it. As much as humanly possible preferably.

Someone very smart obviously got in
Cadbury’s ear just before the press release went out and taught
them about Twitter. On the 14th of August @Cadbury_AUNZ sent their first Tweet “Recent changes in the global market have led us to make changes. Learn more at http://www.choclovers.com/”and then, the clever clogs, they set up an automatic search (I’m guessing for the term ‘Cadbury’) and have been responding, where appropriate, to anyone commenting about Cadbury since; to the point that some Twitter-ers were not anticipating responses to their critiques about Cadbury, from Cadbury, commenting that it creeped them out. I say good on them, they jumped on a medium and are using it CORRECTLY from the get go; using the tools that are available to make sure that they can (start to) protect their brand.

Now, I think they should have probably been in this space a little earlier, however I’m not sure what they would have been able to say in response to their critics until they officially decided to take palm oil back out. The point is they’re there now. They’re having the conversation, and they are directing people to somewhere where they can get more information should they want to.

Well done
Cadbury, even though it took a little time, I think you did the right thing, and I think you have handled it well. Can’t honestly say that I’m a huge fan of your advertising, but you’re not the ruthless orangutan killers that you were a week ago, so congratulations.


freitasm said...

Do you think Twitter was the only channel consumers were talking about this?

I really think Twitter is a closed system most of the times - the level of noise is high, there's a high level of "Twitter is the saviour of all sins" going around and still it's something that is not in the mainstream - no I don't think every single person on Twitter is an "influencer" and no I don't think every single "social media expert" on Twitter is someone that ever heard of the word "marketing".

Ok, this is not about the chocolate. I think the medium is being overexposed as in people are trying to force it to be something it wasn't originally planned for. Which is great but it's actually being hijacked in some situations.

What happens if they decide to close its doors tomorrow? Why hasn't Google or Facebook decided to buy it yet? Because they don't think it's viable? Or they don't think it's the answer to all problems?

Anyway. Late now... Good night.

iChild said...

No, I don't think that Twitter is the only channel consumers use, in fact, I am sure that the bulk of the comments Cadbury received were via mail or email.

The reason that I think that they were smart to jump onto Twitter is because a lot of people are overly vocal on Twitter (I know I am) which is slightly riskier than consumers talking face to face amongst their friends.

I certainly do not think that Twitter is the saviour of all sins, however I think companies who ignore it as a medium to keep check on, are not doing themselves any favours. Use Google alerts and media monitors but don't set up a simple Twitter search to keep tabs on your brand? Dangerous.

Obviously this isn't about chocolate, and I think it deserves some debate,however I don't honestly see Twitter closing its doors tomorrow, and even if it did, there would simply be another offering that we would all be getting our heads around.

So tell me Mauricio, if you were running this Cadbury show, where would you be??