BTS Purple Heart vs. Cadbury Dairy Milk Purple Heart!

Cadbury Dairy Milk’s latest campaign, for Friendship Day (4th August), is incredibly clever. The crux of the campaign is to flood the troller with purple hearts (till the trolling stops, as per the ad), but that’s not what makes it clever.

Why is it clever, then? Because of the use of ‘Purple Heart’ that is even spelled out specifically beyond just using it in emoji form.

If ‘purple heart’ doesn’t remind you of anything, you’re probably living under a rock. For most ‘clued in’ people who at least read news, purple heart, in the emoji format that the Cadbury Dairy Milk film showcases, is strongly tied to the Korean boy-band BTS that is sweeping the world, including India!

In fact, BTS and Unicef had even announced an anti-bullying campaign (the same focus as Cadbury Dairy Milk’s friendship day campaign!) just 3 days ago!

See: BTS front anti-bullying campaign for UNICEF (July 31, 2019)

Also see: Unicef’s 2018 association with BTS: A special message from UNICEF to BTS and ARMY (June 7, 2018)

The video, launched by Unicef, features BTS and is titled, “BTS (purple heart emoji) show the power of love and kindness”!

Now, Unicef and BTS’ efforts do not literally ask people to inundate bullies and trollers’ social media handles with purple heart emojis; that specific call-to-action is possibly uniquely invented by Cadbury Dairy Milk and its ad agency. But given that Purple Heart emojis are most commonly associated with BTS, the kind of comments under Cadbury’s video and social media posts are full of BTS fans asking if they got the idea from BTS!

It’s possible that Cadbury’s and its agency is fully cognizant of this association and are depending on it to build traction for their campaign using BTS fans indirectly.

I hope it doesn’t backfire with BTS’s legendary fanbase accusing Cadbury’s of using their band’s symbol, even though the band doesn’t have a copyright on it.

Interesting irony No.1: Cadbury had used the ‘purple heart’ in connection with Valentine’s Day in 2014, for Cadbury Silk! The hashtag back then was #PurpleLove

Interesting irony No.2: Cadbury has been very strongly associated with the color purple (pun unintended, and I’m not referring to the Steven Spielberg film or the book it was based on) for a very long time… long before the BTS kids and their parents were even conceived. Yes, for over 100 years, Cadbury has been using Pantone 2685C shade of purple in their product packaging and communication and even has a trademark in UK for purple covering “chocolate in bar or tablet form”! Part of the trademark lapsed recently and Cadbury has not been able to get it active again… and Nestle has contested that too, and won!

Of course, ‘Purple’ is very different from ‘Purple Heart emoji’ 🙂