The festive season is the crown jewel for Cadbury, with an annual contribution of 19% to their sales revenue

In 2022, the renowned chocolate brand, owned by Mondelēz, sought to not only maintain this tradition but also take it up a notch.

Challenges on the Horizon and A Fresh Approach

Despite the promise of Christmas cheer, Cadbury faced a trio of challenges in 2022. Price increases, the post-pandemic slowdown in demand, and the High in Food, Salt, and Sugar (HFSS) regulations posed significant hurdles for the company.

In the face of these challenges, Mondelēz and their agency partner, VCCP, embarked on an innovative strategy to breathe new life into the ‘Cadbury’s Secret Santa Postal Service‘ concept. 

This campaign had been running successfully for five consecutive years, offering Brits the chance to send chocolate secretly to someone special. But what’s the twist, well there were a staggering 120,000 bars were up for grabs over the six weeks leading up to Christmas Eve.

Going Multichannel with QR Codes and a TV Advert a Lasting Impact

The campaign took a multichannel approach. Over 280 digital, static, and fly posters transformed into interactive sites with QR codes

These QR codes allowed the public to send a free Cadbury chocolate bar through an engaging mobile experience, however Cadbury’s creativity didn’t stop there.

The brand’s 30-second TV advert, featuring the lovable postman character Jeff, was hailed by Kantar as the most effective festive ad in the long term. 

Complementing this was a dedicated Cadbury Secret Santa website, social and digital ads, and immersive pop-up experiences in 50 Tesco stores across the country.

A Resounding Success

The results were nothing short of spectacular. An astounding 77% of respondents to the campaign expressed active interest in gifting chocolate. 

Furthermore, the online hub garnered a record-breaking 1.4 million visitors in the United Kingdom, showcasing the campaign’s immense popularity. 

In addition, the innovative QR code posters were scanned over 500,000 times, highlighting the engagement the campaign generated.


🎄✨ ‘Tis the season for sweet surprises! 🍫🤫 Our Cadbury Secret Santa Postal service is BACK so keep an eye out for a poster near you to send a free bar of chocolate to someone special… P.s our postie delivers bars gradually throughout the festive season, so if there aren’t any when you first scan, they will be restocked very soon! Click the link in our bio to learn more ⬆️ #CadburySecretSanta #Cadbury #Christmas #Festive #Gift

♬ Christmas – S&A

Cadbury’s Market Share Soars and Honouring Excellence

Christmas 2022 played a pivotal role in Cadbury’s resurgence, as it marked the brand’s largest market share growth in three years, and the festive season contributed to a total revenue of more than £230 million. 

Furthermore, Cadbury’s market share grew by an impressive 2.5%, a testament to the effectiveness of the multichannel approach.

Crucially, Christmas 2022 also helped Mondelēz secure the highly coveted 2023 Marketing Week Award for Multichannel Marketing. This accolade not only acknowledges their innovative strategy but also solidifies Cadbury’s position as a leader in the chocolate industry.

The Benefits of Multichannel Marketing

Multichannel marketing offers a multitude of advantages for businesses, including expanded reach across diverse audiences, heightened customer engagement, and a unified, seamless customer experience. 

Furthermore, it facilitates data collection and analysis, enabling data-driven decisions and precision targeting. This approach can boost sales and conversions, adapt to evolving trends, and provide a competitive edge in the market. 

Moreover, multichannel marketing also strengthens brand consistency, aids in customer retention, and allows for measurable ROI assessment, making it an essential strategy for modern businesses seeking to thrive in a dynamic digital landscape. 

The Potential Downfalls 

Multichannel marketing, while advantageous, presents several potential downsides. It can be complex and resource-intensive, demanding substantial investments in time, money, and personnel. 

What’s more, maintaining consistent branding across various channels can be challenging, and overloading customers with messages may lead to disengagement. Also, data fragmentation is a risk, as is the potential for increased costs without a guaranteed ROI. 

Additionally, the competitive landscape can become crowded, technology integration may be complex, and tracking attribution can be challenging. Moreover, privacy and compliance concerns can arise, and some channels may become oversaturated. 

Therefore, to succeed in multichannel marketing, careful planning and resource management are essential to mitigate these challenges effectively.

Conclusion: A Sweet Victory

In the end, Cadbury’s innovative multichannel approach, combined with a beloved character like Jeff the postman and the allure of secret gifting, catapulted the brand to new heights. 

Despite the daunting challenges, Cadbury’s 2022 Christmas campaign showcased that creativity, adaptability, and a sprinkle of holiday magic can not only enhance retailer relations but also yield substantial financial rewards. 

Moreover, it certainly is a sweet victory for Mondelēz and Cadbury, securing the prestigious 2023 Marketing Week Award for Multichannel Marketing. 

Christmas may be a season of giving, but for Cadbury, it was also a season of impressive growth and innovation, leaving a lasting mark on the confectionery world.