Cadbury Dairy Milk's Advertising Campaigns in India

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG287 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Consumer Behavior / Marketing Communications / International Marketing
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 1990-2011
Pub Date : 2012
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Cadbury India
Industry : Consumer Packaged Goods (Food)
Countries : India


This case is about the various advertising campaigns undertaken by Cadbury Dairy Milk at different points of time to achieve certain objectives. Cadbury was the market leader in chocolates in India and it also was a very popular brand which enjoyed the trust of its consumers. It already had a market share of around 70% in 2011 in chocolates with its flagship brand Cadbury Dairy Milk alone having around 30 % of the share of the Indian chocolate market. The company had come a long way since the 1990s when Indian consumers associated Diary Milk as a product meant for children. To change this, Cadbury came up with a series of campaigns to target the adult group, starting with the 'Real taste of life' campaign, to encourage people to bring out the child in them.

Then they moved on to social acceptance theme with the line- 'Those who want to eat, will find a reason for it'. Through this, Dairy Milk was able to gain an acceptance for chocolates among the adult audiences for consumption. It even won a lot of awards for its campaigns which went on to become a huge success; like the ‘Real Taste of Life' campaign. After this, Dairy Milk sought to achieve the difficult objective of replacing the traditional Indian sweets and desserts with their chocolates. For this, Cadbury ran various campaigns under 'Kuch meetha ho jaye' (Let's have something sweet), including two campaigns parallelly - 'Shubh Aarambh' (Auspicious beginning) and 'Meethe mein kuch meetha ho jaye' (Let's have something sweet for dessert). The common thing for all the advertising campaigns was that they focused on the Indian customs and traditions and yet they gave it a modern and contemporary look to connect with all the people. Besides this, they also used a 360 degree campaign to support the television advertising campaigns, even as their rivals Nestle gave them tough competition with aggressive marketing and even directly taking on Cadbury's advertising campaign message. But many industry observers doubted the effectiveness of Cadbury's efforts and their ability to replace the traditional sweets and the traditional dessert items which had been a long part of the Indian traditions. This case is meant for MBA students as a part of the Consumer Behavior/ Marketing Communication/ International Marketing curriculum.


The case will help the students:
Understand the various challenges faced by Cadbury Dairy Milk and how it was able to overcome them.
Understand how the right advertising campaigns can be used to achieve the company objectives and bring about the desired change in the behavior of the target audience.
Analyze the advertising campaigns of Cadbury Dairy Milk to understand why they were successful.
Analyze whether Cadbury Dairy Milk was doing the right thing by trying to replace the traditional sweets and desserts and whether it would succeed.
Discuss in what ways the company would be able to maintain their leadership position in the future.
Explore the competitor's point of view, like Nestle and how they could reduce the gap with the leader Cadbury.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
A Sweet Journey 2
Sweet Results? 6
Way Ahead 7
Exhibits 9


Consumer behavior, Advertising, Marketing communication, Increasing usage, Occasions, Attitude, Perception, Positioning, Brand Equity, Market research, Social acceptance, Market leadership, Chocolate confectionery market, India

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