Video of the Week – Proposal FAIL or Brilliant Cadbury Ad?

Brilliant of course!

I love brands that take a chance with some “grassroots” marketing tactics. Many are afraid to risk their image. Since we’re talking chocolate I’ll quote the pudding man himself, Bill Cosby, who said “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure“.

So let’s take a look at this brilliant “guerrilla” Cadbury Bournville campaign. Disguised as a random phone video uploaded to YouTube by an unsuspecting mall shopper, it started spreading across Facebook last week, with many not even realizing, at first, that it was an ad.

I came across many people posting this on Facebook and Twitter last week – I won’t embed screenshots or links to save embarrassment for my friends 🙂 – with captions like “Gotta see this great marriage proposal fail”, “Wow, he got burned …”, “sucks to be him”, etc. I’ll admit when I first watched the clip I didn’t “get it” either. But I remembered thinking, what was with that train? You’d think he would’ve planned his proposal better. So I watched it again, and there it was! Was that a Cadbury logo I just saw? What, the other cars read “NOT … SO … SWEET”.

Here are the 4 train cars as they pass through the video.

Here are the 4 train cars as they pass through the video.

Facepalm! Yep, that was clever, no wait – brilliant! I started seeing comments pop up on friends Facebook statuses as they started realizing what was “really” going here, and of course the odd person mentioning “Oh, you didn’t know it was an ad, so obvious!”.

Why is this brilliant? Because it generated a ton of conversation resulting in high engagement and social reach. People are still talking about it and the video currently has over a million views and growing.

Earlier this summer Cadbury repositioned its marketing with a new tagline “Not So Sweet” as a play on the dark chocolate Bournville bars which have 44% cocoa. Basically, less sugar, still tasty, not as bad for you. They launched the campaign with this humorous  commercial which earned them over 3.7 millions fans on their Cadbury Bournville Facebook page overnight, today the page is at 3.9 million and still growing.

So what does the proposal FAIL have to do with this? For their brand launch in India they asked people to record obnoxiously sweet scenarios accompanied by a band, upload it to YouTube and tweet it with the #NotSoSweet. Then Cadbury chose their favourites to “re-tape” with leading comedians from India – hence the proposal FAIL.

Still don’t think it’s brilliant? Watch the video and decide for yourself.

Do you think this campaign is brilliant? Or does it miss the mark with its hidden message?

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