Anjali Krishnan on the role of generosity in the Mondelez India Festive Marketing Blueprint 2021

Mondelez festive marketing

Garnering a brand recall like no other, Cadbury’s festive campaigns have been on top of everyone’s favorite list. With inputs from Anjali Krishnan, we decode the Mondelez International festive marketing strategy for 2021, understanding the core theme of their marketing strategy.

Last week the A&M community was full praises for Mondelez India’s ‘Not Just a Cadbury Ad’ featuring Shah Rukh Khan for its Iss Diwali Aap #KiseKhushKarenge’ campaign. What grabbed eyeballs and acknowledgment was the core thought behind the campaign- of empowering small businesses. Conceptualized by agency partners – Ogilvy India and Wavemaker, for Mondelez India, the campaign was first launched in 2020 to promote local businesses across the country in the backdrop of a pandemic that resulted in a huge economic slowdown. The current edition takes it a notch up – in addition to the brand films, the local retailers get to make a version of these ads for their stores, using the AI-Powered technology developed by

Mondelez India Festive Marketing 2021

From ‘Kuch Meetha Ho Jaaye; to ‘Kuch Accha Ho Jaaye, Kuch Meetha Ho Jaaye,’, Cadbury campaigns have over the years become a part of us. “At Mondelez India, we are cautiously optimistic about our upcoming Diwali season. While we have had a good start to the festive season with Rakhi, we understand that there lies a certain amount of uncertainty when it comes to how things might pan out in the future,” says Anjali Krishnan, Head of Media, Mondelez India.

The festive season, for the company, starts in July and has observed an increase in the consumption patterns in the last quarter, making the overall sentiment quite positive.

Krishnan adds, “With more consumers being at home and snacking, Cadbury Dairy Milk and Oreo are two of the brands that are receiving the most love.”

From 2020 to 2021: What’s Next?

Mondelez slowed down a little with new launches and offerings last year when the pandemic hit. However, with initiatives like contactless gifting and specialized gift packages containing Cadbury products with customization as an option, Mondelez aimed at upping its e-commerce play.

While premiumization and premium offerings took a backseat on the product front, the company kept its communication strategy focussed on building timely bonds and ‘generosity’ among the consumers.  

Last year, Mondelez rolled out India’s first hyper-personalized ad, promoting 1800+ local retailers, across 260+ pin codes, to give them the much-needed geo-targeted visibility, among consumers – hence ‘Not Just a Cadbury Ad, but the Most Generous Ad’. The company further added sparkle to the festivities, with the eCommerce-exclusive premium pack, Oreo Moments and Cadbury Cocoa’s #TheSweetestDiwali activation.

With safety becoming a non-negotiable priority for consumers, e-commerce is playing a greater role in implementing contactless shopping, and therefore, Mondelez aimed at creating more digital shopping opportunities to continue redefining the joy of gifting. The seasonal offerings under the Cadbury Gifting portfolio were available across multiple channels like e-grocers, marketplaces, e-commerce websites, hyper-local and omnichannel retailers, and the company’s own direct-to-consumer website –

Continuing with the tradition this year, Krishnan claims that Mondelez will leverage the festive season to further strengthen its connect with the consumers in 2021. She adds, “We as an organization, are being cautiously optimistic but we need to invest as it is a part of our growth agenda. We believe that brands that stay invested will benefit from that kind of mental availability. We are staying invested and our mantra is very simple, we are where the consumer is.”

With a vast portfolio of product offerings, Mondelez International, the company operates in the chocolate, beverages, biscuits, and candy categories in India with brands like Cadbury Dairy Milk, Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk, Cadbury Celebrations, Cadbury Bournville, Cadbury 5Star, Cadbury Perk, Cadbury Fuse, Cadbury Gems, Cadbury Bournvita, Cadbury Spready, Tang, Cadbury Oreo, Bournvita Biscuits, Halls and Cadbury Choclairs Gold – each of them contributing to the festivities in their own unique way.

Also Read: 28 Years Apart: The Story Behind the Iconic Cadbury Cricket Ad – Then v/s Now

Communication strategy

Through #MyFirstRakhi, in August 2021, Cadbury wanted to make a meaningful difference in the lives of kids who don’t get to experience festivals as we do.

Cadbury Celebrations partnered with Social Hardware, an organization working towards providing assistive devices and rehabilitation services to underserved communities to develop a unique senor based prosthetic arm that will let children feel the sense of touch, an integral part of growing up. 

With the focus on spreading happiness and banking on the proposition of ‘Kuch Achha Ho Jaaye, Kuch Meetha Ho Jaaye’, the campaign promised a new start for children who have missed experiencing the joy of celebrating this festival in its truest sense.

For years now Mondelez India has been an innate part of festivals and occasions. Krishnan highlights that by opting with a different approach for every campaign and focusing on varied means of communications to reach the ideal target audience, Mondelez tends to speak in a language they understand and make the brand available on a platform they prefer.

“From setting the generosity narrative in motion in all of our Cadbury Dairy Milk initiatives to communicating to our youth in Cadbury 5 Star ‘Do Nothing’ ads, we continue to innovate and find newer ways of reaching our consumers,” she briefs.

Madbury’s Festive Madness

In December 2019, Mondelez India for the very first time launched an initiative ‘Go Madbury For Cadbury’ wherein it encouraged chocolate aficionados to don their culinary hats and tighten their aprons while they create their own Cadbury Dairy Milk bar.

The company is now set to launch Madbury 3.0, telling consumers to make their own flavor. According to Mondelez India, the third edition of Madbury is set to be bigger than the last two with more ingredients being added for consumers to get creative with. 

Commenting on the rationale and insight behind the campaign, Krishnan says that with Madbury, the company is providing the consumers an opportunity to melt their favorite Cadbury chocolate into creating new and unique eating experiences whilst becoming famous.

“We have also offered them a chance to mix, match and create their own home-style Cadbury on our one-of-its-kind interface. This has helped us bring in newer flavors that we have nestled in our rich culinary culture by teaming up classic ingredients with western twists. The very beauty of this proposition lies in the excitement that we have presented to chocolate lovers in the 3rd edition. We want to make the kitchen a very interesting place wherein families can come together, play around and give life to one of those lucky creations wherein the creator has their name on it,” she explains.

Media Mix & Promotions

“We can’t help you with hard numbers but we’d like you to know that we are staying invested in the season and the market,” quips Krishnan. “At Mondelez India, we believe in a multimedia approach, without focussing on any one type of platform. We try to see where we can interact with the consumer through multiple touchpoints.”

Given that the consumer is spending a lot of time on digital channels, online is emerging as a big investment area. Not just on the campaign side but also on the commerce side wherein the company can see both reach and performance. She further informs that the brands are seeing a fair amount of traction on both its eCommerce platforms and e-grossers and also on the D2C platform – which Mondelez has been investing for the last few years.

The company has also gone double-digit in its festive spending this year considering the pent-up demand and looks forward to investing significantly in advertising and promotion.

When it comes to Mondelez’s portfolio, empathy and authenticity are two factors that have been incorporated in all of their campaigns, under the broader umbrella of generosity. “Cadbury Dairy Milk stands on the platform of generosity. The company has time and again tried to bring this thought alive by trying to shed light on acknowledging the unacknowledged,” Krishnan concludes.