The trouble with that “This is not just a Cadbury ad”

UPDATE (Nov. 16, 2020):
Mondelez India has made 2 updates:

1. The YouTube video has a more detailed and specific description:

2. There is a simulator to try the idea, as I had suggested in my post below!


“Has this worked for anyone? Don’t know why but not working on my phone. Am seeing Malviya Nagar New Delhi shop. Checked the ad on YouTube so should’ve worked.”

This is a comment on the new Cadbury, “This is not just a Cadbury ad” ad, by a very senior advertising industry professional, on a WhatsApp Group. I had the same question in my mind, but he chose to articulate it before I could.

I saw the new “This is not just a Cadbury ad” on YouTube too, on Cadbury’s own YouTube page.

I saw “Sahil Jewellers, Malviya Nagar, Delhi”, “Jyoti Optician, Siyaganj, Indore”, “Kajari Selection, Dange Chowk, Pune”, “Ajanta Times, Maninagar, Ahmedabad” and “Chhadva Dryfruits, Powai, Mumbai”… while sitting in Bengaluru.

So I wondered too – where is the hyper-personalization that the campaign video claims, is being done for the first time in India?

(PS: This is NOT India’s first-ever hyper-personalized ad. More on this, at the end of this post.)

The intent is fantastic, no question about that at all.

But when Ogilvy says, it’d be hyper-personalized when the ad is being watched on Facebook and YouTube, I should probably see something personalized to my location. I do not.

And I figured that I’m not the only one. More people were mildly baffled that they do not see the ‘magic’ being proclaimed in the idea (click on each image to see the comment, from Cadbury’s own Facebook and YouTube pages).

All these people are not wrong. And Cadbury is not wrong either. Neither is Ogilvy.

Now, I do not doubt either the intent or the execution of the brand or the agency. It is highly commendable and the idea too is very nice.

But… the way it has been communicated in the form of a demonstration lacks clarity. Here’s why.

1. I presume this is being rolled out as a pilot. Sukesh Nayak, Ogilvy India, explains in the Melt video (at 20:00) that this is active ONLY in 7 Indian cities, right now. That context is very, very important when you are trying to demonstrate the ‘what’ and ‘how’. The demonstration should then clearly mention that fact, so that people in cities other than the seven could understand that they are NOT the intended target audiences for the ad.

2. Sukesh also explains that the ad delivers hyper-personalized local store recommendations “when you are watching it on Facebook and YouTube“. The Cadbury YouTube page has the ad. I am watching it on YouTube. Yet, no local store recommendations!

The only way I can understand that is that the ad should be delivered to you as an ad while you are watching something else on YouTube (say, as a mid-video ad or a pre-roll ad). Or the ad should be delivered to you on Facebook while you are scrolling on your timeline (both, while you have enabled location on your device).

So, “when you are watching it on Facebook and YouTube” is a misleading instruction that is bound to confuse and disappoint viewers because if you take that instruction at face value and head to Cadbury’s Facebook handle or YouTube page to view the sample ad uploaded there, you will see the same 5 local stores: “Sahil Jewellers, Malviya Nagar, Delhi”, “Jyoti Optician, Siyaganj, Indore”, “Kajari Selection, Dange Chowk, Pune”, “Ajanta Times, Maninagar, Ahmedabad” and “Chhadva Dryfruits, Powai, Mumbai”, because this is a stock compilation video of “what could be”, not “what is”.

3. What this demonstration needed, and deserved, was a dedicated location online that starts by listing the cities that this works on (they can always increase the cities as new cities are added).

Then, the page asks people to add pin-code from one of those cities. Even if I am sitting in Bengaluru (which is probably not part of the roll-out), I can test the concept by entering a Pune-based pin code and convince myself that the idea actually works.

Merely uploading one demo video and expect people to both understand and believe that the concept actually works is way too optimistic.

As for India’s first hyper-personalized digital advertising campaign, I believe that was by Tata Docomo, through the agency, IBS. That idea won a lot of awards too, including Yahoo Big Idea Chair 2013 award and Emvies 2013.

Ogilvy’s framing of the Cadbury’s ad as ‘India’s first-ever hyper-personalized’ is perhaps misplaced. The Tata Docomo ads had the name of the user in the ad, and that qualifies for true ‘hyper-personalization’. What Cadbury’s ad does is ‘hyper-localization’, beyond ‘hyper-personalization’. Calling it ‘India’s first-ever hyper-localized’ ad would have made the claim a bit more firm and appropriate. To be sure, it is personalized too, but Tata Docomo’s name-level personalization is a better demonstration than nearby-shops level personalization. So, using ‘hyper-localized’ is a better claim.

Related read: See what another brand from another country did, on the very same idea of helping local stores, using nothing but newspaper ads, in June 2020!



5 thoughts on “The trouble with that “This is not just a Cadbury ad”

  1. Also it is not done by Ogilvy. Only creative was made by them. It is definitely not the first ever but one of the best use of automation and tech. For better understanding of tech and execution talk to Wavemaker

    1. The communication of how it works is by Ogilvy (so far), which is where my post has context. Wavemaker has not spoken about the intricacies of what the technology is and how it works, so far – if they had, I’d have mentioned them wrt the way they have communicated the details.

      1. Thanks for covering this. The campaign was conceptualized by Ogilvy. The technology is power by DeltaX.

        Hyper personalization works only when you see a paid add and not when you see an organic/shared post or video which is a limitation on both facebook and YouTube.

        Hope you do come across a paid and promoting a local store in your vicinity.

    1. Ogilvy and Wavemaker joined hands to execute the idea. Ogilvy was responsible for creating a showreel to demonstrate the idea… that I’m pointing out as misleading.

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