Cadbury’s Experiential Marketing Flop – The Buyer’s Journey 16

Experiential marketing can be a powerful tool in many phases of The Buyer’s Journey, but there’s also a lot of pitfalls to avoid. Today’s episode is all about Cadbury’s experiential marketing flop.

What Is Experiential Marketing

Experiential marketing is a tactic to create brand awareness through an event or experience. Often times these events allow potential customers to try products and services, or have a unique experience related to the brand. For example, HBO and Bumble teamed up for a “Stay Home to The Movies” event. Certain Bumble users got invites to take their dates to special showings of classic movies in NYC in a fancy, almost $30 million apartment.

In 2016 the Marshmello man “crashed” into Waterloo station to promote the Ghostbusters remake.

And Game of Thrones is teaming up with the American Red Cross to promote their latest season, and encourage blood donations. Blood donators will be able to receive a Game of Thrones themed shirt.

Experiential marketing hits almost all phases of The Buyer’s Journey, from creating brand awareness to encouraging positive social media posts with your @’s and hashtags.

Please Don’t Advocate For People To Do Illegal Things

Cadbury, the British multinational confectioner, came under fire for their latest advertising campaign called “Cadbury Treasure Island”.

The campaign encouraged customers to explore different landmarks within the U.K. and…dig for buried treasure, jewels, and gold.

There are a lot of issues with this, but the most important being it’s illegal to dig near historical sites. In addition, there are many legal restrictions on metal detectors in the U.K. and Ireland, which Cadbury suggests would-be looters to use.

I use the word looting because that’s exactly what it is. Here’s Dan Hicks, a professor of Contemporary Archaeology at the University of Oxford:

A Cadbury spokesperson told the BBC in a report, “It was not our intention to encourage anyone to break existing rules regarding the discovery of new archaeological artefacts and we are grateful this matter has been brought to our attention.” According to Cadbury, the campaign was meant to inspire families “to go on everyday adventures together”

Relevancy is Important

After hearing this story, the team scratched our heads thinking first why Cadbury would do a campaign like this. We theorized that Cadbury must’ve been releasing a new type of candy. Therefore, this was merely phase one of the release. With a little research I found their Freddo Treasures product, and now there’s no confusion at all. Frankly, this campaign was a big mistake. While there have been some fantastic experiential marketing scavenger hunt type campaigns, almost all of those relied on the company hiding something to be found by fans and customers. Here, Cadbury is suggesting users do something blatantly illegal.

If you’re going to be attempting an experiential marketing campaign, keep this in mind. You want to ensure what you’re doing is relevant to your brand or product. That’s rule number one. While Cadbury’s campaign is relevant to the Freddo Treasures product, it’s also unfortunately encouraging illegal activity. So, let that be rule number two: don’t encourage illegal acts.

Check out our next episode where we’ll discuss a news article covering the Advocacy stage of The Buyer’s Journey.

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