During the golden age of social media, before privacy concerns became widely known, you’d often see slide decks about how people want to have conversations with brands. The famously bad Pepsi ad featuring a protester holding a sign that said “join the conversation” comes to mind. But who really says that in real life? It’s probably safer to say that people want to have conversations with each other, and sometimes the topic is about or inspired by brands.
Take what Ogilvy and Cadbury have done in honor of India’s Independence Day. They’ve created a “Unity Bar” by combining four types of chocolate into a single bar meant to celebrate the country’s diversity. On August 15th, they took out a full-page ad in The Economic Times featuring an image of the 24-square candy bar, which has six squares of four types of chocolate: white, milk, blended and dark.
The headline was printed in multiple languages and reads, “We are all different. You, me, we, us, humanity — a rainbow of brown, a giant bouquet of mother tongues, a churning confluence of cultures. It is these very differences that make us the same. All of us equal. All of us beautiful. All of us, together under one sky,” and concludes: “Sweet things happen when we unite.”
As reported by The Times of India, “The legacy brand that had the chocoholics in us awestruck since childhood, is now winning hearts with this new bar that is in fact, a physical manifestation of the idea of unity in diversity. This interesting ode to oneness is the first of its kind anywhere in the world and is something that will melt the cockles of the stoniest of hearts.”
We’ve written about the importance of diversity here on Branding Strategy Insider, and we are seeing many brands take steps in the right direction. Whether it be operationally in terms of leadership and workforce, or through products like Band-Aid being offered in multiple skin tones, or Mattel producing toys that are more representative of the world we live in. If the reaction to the Unity Bar on social media is any indication, people are drawn to calls for unity, and love what this brand has done.
“Forget just India’s unity,” one twitter user said. “This thing should unite people all over the world!” Another added, “Don’t make it for a limited time period. Make it a forever thing Cadbury.” And a third user wrote, “Absolutely fantastic ad!”
What’s great about the Cadbury example is that they’ve built the message into the product, which makes the position they are taking more tangible and perhaps even more meaningful. Instead of just messaging around the idea, which any more seems like vapid virtue hustling, they’ve demonstrated a level of effort that comes to life in the product, meaning it involved more than just marketing and PR.
Instead of trying to create a conversation for customers to join, create products that make your customers want to have conversations, especially those that bring people together.
Do you live in India? (The Blake Project has an office in New Delhi) And even if you don’t, what do you think about what Cadbury has done? Can your brand do something similar? Share with us.
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