Cadbury is India’s largest chocolate maker and enjoys a healthy market share of more than 70% closely followed by Nestle which has a market share of 20%. The big two names in the chocolate market together enjoy more than 90% of the market while as the rest of the players, that is, Campco, Amul enjoy the rest. Cadbury commands the market with some great products like Dairy Milk, Five-star, Bourneville, and éclairs which are enjoyed by all.

Cadbury had decided to re-position another of its brand Gems which so far had appealed to kids only. Cadbury which has successfully re-positioned its other products in the past decided to target adults as well, complemented by the campaign with a tagline “Raho Umarless”, which en-courage’s consumers to enjoy regardless of the age.

The campaign to reposition Gems is meant just to increase sales or is it something else?

Chocolates as we know have an interesting history and it have been eaten regularly for pleasure as well as for medicinal values. Europeans have used it for its aphrodisiac effect as well as an energy provider and it was eaten by soldiers during Spanish civil war as well as during World wars.

M&M founder Mr. Mars invented the idea for the candy in the 1930s during the Spanish Civil War when he saw soldiers eating chocolate pellets with a hard shell of tempered chocolate surrounding the inside, preventing the candies from melting.

India which has always known for its sweets of various flavors and especially in India sweets are must in every festivals. Chocolates manufacturing in India started in 1947 onwards, but could not make a major dent in the market. In India chocolates were meant only for children and sometimes were enjoyed by an adult that too in privacy. For Indian consumer’s sweets was a better option than chocolate.

In late 90’s Cadbury which was leader in chocolate market saw a big opportunity, which was to make an inroads into the Indian sweets market, which was loosely un-organized  and slowly was getting organized with some big names like Haldiram’s & Ghastiram manufacturing sweats in an organized way. For Cadbury the market was too big and needed a transition. It decided to reposition itself among the adults and started with a series of campaign aimed to woo adults. It started with the now famous TVC showcasing a girl enjoying match in stadium while as her boyfriend who’s playing cricket. As soon as he scores a ton she jumps on the ground dancing and celebrating with Cadbury dairy milk. The campaign was complemented with a tagline “Kya Swaad Hai” – This Ad along with the other featuring Omang Kumar shook the entire Advertising world. It was something unique and never done before, but it achieved what was desired and Cadbury had found a new consumer that is Indian youth and Adults. No longer would anyone call you a child if you were spotted having a chocolate.

Cadbury which wanted to have a big pie of Indian sweets market decided to launch its own brand of sweats and in 1997 it launched Cadbury mithai around Diwali. The product failed to ignite market and even though Cadbury tried to re-launch it, it simply failed.  Cadbury recalled the product as it could not woo consumers away from the sweets with its own sweets.

Cadbury again concentrated on the adult consumers with series of campaign. To capture the sweets market it made a subtle effort with series of ads around various festivals like Raksha-Bandhan and recent “Kuch meetha ho jayee”. This has actually helped Cadbury as on Diwali, consumers do buy chocolate gift packs for distribution.

The repositioning of Gems, which is an Indian version of M&M marbles, is aimed to capture the adult consumers, while there is logic behind the new TG; the campaign fails to provide any compelling reason for adults to buy Gems. “Raho Umarless” does not emphasis as to why, rather it is a weak attempt to attract adult & to make them rethink about Gems.

Ideally the brand should have tried with a non-hyperbolic, real life scenario where an adult is enjoying life or the product & it would have attracted the TG in a right way.

The right approach would have been that while repositioning, the brand should have concentrated on building salience and should have concentrated on finer details as to why to buy and when to? These elements are simply missing in the campaign.

The fact that M&M marbles were invented for the soldiers to be used on the battle-ground & Targeting 30 years and above individuals for it makes sense, but the way it did does not make any sense at all. The magic Cadbury had created earlier with its earlier repositioning is simply missing.

Posted: 9th July 2012 in Brand Story, Brand Update by Reetesh Singh
Tags: , , , , , ,
  1. Akshat Khandelwal says:

    I am a regular reader of your blogs and other marketing blogs too. I don’t like commenting upon such articles but this article of yours has forced me to comment. This is a perfect post as it covers various ups-and-downs for one particular brand. Its actually a Brand Study. Cadbury captures Chocolate market in India. It successfully extends its chocolates from Kids to Elders; (One Aspect) It launches sweets and fails; (Second Aspect) It learned from its failure and try replacing sweets with chocolates on festivals and succeeded to some extent; (Third Aspect) Now, expanding its reach for “Gems” to elders. So this is the perfect post wherein all marketing aspects are covered and the best part is from perspective of one particular brand.

  2. Shrishti Bansal says:

    I agree with you. There’s nothing wrong in extending your TG when actually you have captured one particular segment and you are an undoubted leader there. But this TVC doesn’t hit the extended TG, so it is merely a Branding activity rather than marketing

  3. Kuldeep Rawat says:

    Excellent post. you actually covered how Cadbury captured market in India. This is the perfect post for understanding brand positioning and changing the positioning to capture market.

  4. Noor Bhatnagar says:

    perfect post. not only covers Cadbury gems, but cadbury as a whole. keep it up :)

  5. Shivani Walia says:

    Perfect; a detailed insight as like your previous posts. keep posting.

  6. Richa Seth says:

    As always, one more interesting post. Chat Bhandaar, I’ll say its a Knowledge Bhandaar. Keep posting…

  7. Harbinder Kaur says:

    Right, the attribute “WHY” is something, this campaign lacks…

  8. Rohit Panda says:

    Hats off… your blog is excellent

  9. Avishesh Chawla says:

    Knowledge is a never ending process; this blog makes me realize this fact.

  10. Roshan Sodhi says:

    Really interesting post. It is a best example to unerstand that the right approach and right planning is important in brand marketing. If the approach is right, its easy to capture market… But the vice-versa can hamper the brand image as the case here is

  11. Raichal Singhal says:

    How can a brand like “Cadbury” ignore crucial factors while re-positioning its brand.

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