Since the launch of Google’s social media platform, Google+ in 2011, the social media team here at Branded3 has been doing a lot of research into the most effective online marketing uses for it.
One of the brands that we’ve noticed is getting it spot on every time is Cadbury UK. The now American-owned confectionary company clearly has a firm grasp of the potential of the platform, having produced some exceptionally innovative campaigns since joining Google+.
We have been particularly impressed with its use of Google+’s Circles feature. Cadbury asks its G+ circlers which Circle best defines them and, in a shrewd customer engagement and demographic profiling technique, the company divides its fans (or, rather, gets the fans to divide themselves) accordingly.
As big fans of Google+ ourselves, Cadbury’s strategy really interested us, and to find out more, we opted to be added to their Tasters Circle when the opportunity arose – the Circle that interested us the most!
We couldn’t have made a better decision, because just a couple of weeks after joining, we were invited to sign up to taste some new Cadbury products live in a G+ Hangout with Cadbury UK!
All four members of the Branded3 team who signed up were then sent three big Cadbury bars in the post with a personal, hand-written note from the company congratulating us and asking us to resist opening any of them until the tasting session.
Excited chocolate fans then flooded other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter with pictures and comments about their free gifts from Cadbury – a perfect example of just how effective a simple but meticulously orchestrated mix of online and offline marketing can be.
On the 16 July at 6pm, Cadbury held its first ever On Air Taste-Off. All the lucky recipients of the brand new bars were invited to watch the hangout live on air, while a lucky nine (two of those being from Branded3!) were chosen to taste them live in the hangout, making fantastic use of the Hangouts feature offered by the Google+ platform.
Considering it was Cadbury’s first live hangout, it went really smoothly; we were instructed that we should test our microphones and webcams at 5.45pm sharp to have the best chance of winning a place in the hangout, which we dutifully did, and just before 6pm we were invited to join a private hangout by Jerry Daykin from Cadbury.
Jerry explained how the hangout was going to work, and asked us all to introduce ourselves to one another. Then, shortly after 6pm the hangout went public and the tasting began. We opened each chocolate bar in sequence and were all asked to describe what we thought of it.
There was a clear winner which was, fittingly, the Nuts for Gold chocolate bar which was the Branded3 favourite too! The post announcing the winning bar received 126 +1s and has been shared 24 times so far. The recording of the hangout, which was posted the following morning on Cadbury’s feed, has so far received 73 +1s and been shared 6 times.
This is not the first time that Cadbury has seen amazing success executing a Google+ strategy. Cadbury knows that visual content does extremely well on Google+, using this to its advantage (especially in its What’s Hot section), constantly posting engaging visual content.
If you’ve been keeping an eye on Cadbury’s Google+ activity, you might also remember how it made a chocolate version of its Google+ page to celebrate reaching 500,000 circlers, which received a massive amount of coverage and shares. Cadbury is also offering the chance to join hangouts with Team GB in the lead up to the Olympics – again, this is proving to be a very popular tactic.
All in all, it seems that Cadbury is really well tuned-in with what its customers want, and wants to demonstrate this by not only talking but actually listening to its audience, as it did with the Bring Back Wispa campaign back in 2007 – orchestrated on on Bebo, Myspace and Facebook.
If you want to watch the hangout you can view it on Youtube here.