Thank you for ploughing ahead – despite the odds being apparently massively stacked against you – with the launch of Philadelphia with Cadbury (is that what I call it?) in the UK – it’s admirable.
1) Your Philadelphia brand manager has been quoted as saying: “We wanted the debut campaign for Philadelphia with Cadbury to focus on addressing the barrier of how cheese and chocolate sounds to consumers and from next month will be visiting shopping centres throughout the UK to try and giveaway 220,000 samples to shoppers.”
The two phrases that stick out for me there are “barrier of how cheese and chocolate sounds” and “try and giveaway”.
2) Your launch campaign idea – ‘Choccy Philly? Don’t Be Silly” featuring comedian Jennifer Saunders parodying people’s reactions to the idea of the new spread – implies that consumer reactions in research have ranged from disbelief to confusion.
I wish you luck in your quest to sample or joke your way into the British public’s shopping baskets.
3) You have decided to target a new occasion for the category – the afternoon snack market – as opposed to the more obvious breakfast occasion…which implicitly suggests to me that you know you don’t have a hope in hell of stealing share from Nutella.
If you wanted to take on Nutella, (existing license deals aside) why didn’t you just launch a better Nutella in the form of a fresh Cadbury spread? OK, you might have made it with Philadelphia, but you didn’t need to tell the chocolate-with-cheese rejecting British public about it.
(As it happens, I suspect the product will actually taste great, as Philly doesn’t really taste cheesy anyway, texture being its real forte. But people don’t think that. To the British consumer, Philly is a cream cheese. Perception and reality, perception and reality.)
And finally Kraft, thank you for making me conjure up the image of the brand managers of both Philadelphia and Cadbury holding their heads in their hands – and then laughing together at the ridiculousness of it all, rolling their sleeves up and making the best of it.
- The Philadelphia brand manager because senior Kraft stakeholders are blindly seeking to replicate success achieved with Philadelphia with Milka in Germany (a very respectable £18m in sales since launch in 2010, by the way) and Italy, without the faintest care for local UK market food codes nor the iconic status of the Cadbury brand
- The Cadbury brand manager because their vision of Kraft coming in and knackering their brand is coming true in glorious Technicolor slow-motion before their very eyes.
So thank you for having the courage of your convictions, believing that you can buy market share, believing that you can overcome a cornucopia of consumer barriers and believing that it you can make Philadelphia with Cadbury work. Admirable stuff.
Funny thing is, despite everything, I think you just might.