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Sweet love: How chocolate brands claimed Valentine's Day as a communication pillar

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Pranali Tawte
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On Chocolate Day, Social Samosa decodes the bitter-sweet marketing strategies of chocolate brands for Valentine’s day.

Valentine's Day is an occasion that not only excites couples or consumers who exchange chocolates and other gifts with their loved ones, but also brands. Matching the theme of celebration, several chocolate brands have launched new products, ad campaigns, or changed their packaging to jump on the Valentine's Day bandwagon over the years.

Occasion marketing attracts a lot of advertising revenues and Valentine’s Day is a sweet occasion for the chocolate industry. According to a report, key players are focusing on launching occasion-based flavors and packaging such as special gift packs for Valentine’s Day, etc. and this is further expected to benefit the market in the long run.

Social Samosa decodes Valentine’s day marketing strategy of some of the key chocolate brands and attempts to draw out their pattern.

KitKat

KitKat has been changing its packaging ahead of Valentine’s Day and matching the theme of V-Day since 2019. This was continued throughout its marketing journey to date.

From 2019-2021, the packaging had a range of quirky, fun messages which one could choose from. Additionally, it would take two KitKat bars to complete the message, which made the activity even more engaging. 

To take a step ahead, KitKat created over 12 million unique Love Break packs with quirky digital prints which consumers could choose from as their way of a special break. 

For 2023, KitKat is taking its Valentine’s Day packaging strategy a step ahead by combing technology. It has launched #LoveBreakLingo packs with fun, quirky love lingo for any relationship – best friends, first crush, cool buddy, or bestie. These packs have a QR code that allows consumers to use WhatsApp to send personalized messages using the #lovebreaklingo to anyone they wish to share it with. 

chocolate brands packaging

Mondelez Siblings

The biggest Mondelez siblings, Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk and Cadbury 5 Star take their marketing creativity to a different level every year and make Valentine's day an occasion for everyone by highlighting two polar opposites in the campaigns, mushy in love and the mush-avoiding singles.

While Dairy Milk Silk asks its audience how far will you go for love? 5Star asks them to do nothing!

As a part of this year’s #DoNothing proposition, Cadbury 5Star released a mush detector web app that tracks couples' purchases of chocolates for each other, their typical go-to spots, and combines that data with Artificial Intelligence to allow consumers to view all the mush in the region around them. It seems to be targeting young singles who like to stay away from the traditional celebration of Valentine’s Day. 

chocolate brands banter

On the other hand, Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk’s goal is to strike a chord by helping consumers turn V-Day into one of the most memorable days for their loved ones with Silk Unforgettable Love Tips.

Brand rivalry is a popular format in advertising, which is loved by consumers. Both Mondelez siblings engage in healthy banter to connect with two sets of audiences on V-day.

Also Read: True Elements’ Ved Agarwal shares the recipe for healthy food marketing

In 2022, Silk showed grand gestures are great through its campaign, 5Star took over an island and renamed it ‘My Cousin’s Wedding.’ By doing so, it offered single folks an alibi for V-day. Instead of feeling awkward or making excuses, people could simply say, "I'm going to my cousin's wedding," without lying. The island even had its own embassy in Mumbai where customers could walk in and get a glimpse of the island through a VR experience. 

The brands also got into an OOH banter with polaring approaches. 

chocolate brands OOH



The Valentine’s day campaign by Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk in 2021 included a series of six short-format videos with the core theme to make the expected, unexpected by going to great heights for love.



The brand even created a ‘Cadbury Silk Heart Pop Alexa skill’ where consumers could ask ‘Alexa, tell me ways to go far for love’ and get Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk’s recommendations for Valentine’s Day.



While 5Star took hundreds of teddy bears, photo frames, and other cheesy gifts and turned everything into something useful, which was then displayed in one of the malls in Mumbai. Even in 2021, 5Star had taken the same approach with its campaign, by dumping Valentine’s day in style.

Hershey’s India

The US-based Hershey’s uses new ways to connect with consumers every year on this occasion of love. It has taken the branded marketing route at times and also taken to the billboards to celebrate Valentine’s Day.  

As a part of their 2023 campaign, Hershey’s is hosting a contest where the audience is invited to submit their story and the winners can surprise their 'Forever' by displaying their story on Hershey’s digital installation on ground.

A year before, Hershey’s collaborated with Terribly Tiny Tales (TTT) in 2022 for the third season of the web series – ">‘Butterflies’, which celebrated love in all kinds of relationships such as Galentines, best friends, and families. 

In a different campaign, Hershey’s launched the #SayItWithAKiss campaign in 2021 where the brand asked the audience to #SayItWithAKiss when words fall short to thank their favorites.

Valentine's day has been one of the most important occasions for brands to experiment and spread love with unique concepts, campaigns and contests. In the chocolate category, Mondelez siblings Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk and 5Star have been engaging in banter every year, KitKat changes its packaging to celebrate love in different forms and Hershey's finds a new way to reach its audience.

hersheys india kitkat chocolate industry Valentine's Day Cadbury Silk Valentine's Day campaigns 5star chocolate campaigns brand campaigns