Social Media success at Cadbury?

If this is a success - it's one of the biggest successes I've seen in the social media landscape.

Cadbury is due to bring back their famous 1980s chocolate bar - the Wispa.

Brand Republic has coverage and is citing social network pressure (sub needed).

The lobbying on Facebook and MySpace resulted in a 14,000 people "Bring Back Wispa" group. You can find Wispa archive adverts such as this one for Wispa Gold (which lasted longer than Wispa itself) on YouTube.

I think this is an interesting move from Cadbury. Sure, the collective voice of Wispa fans on the net is strong but is it enough to support a whole product line? There are more than 14,000 news agents in the UK and so the Bring Back Wispa group could equate to less than one chocolate bar being sold from every other shop in the UK. That wouldn't be a success. On the other than, as a public sample survey the 14,000 figure is huge.

This move follows Proctor and Gamble pulling their internet ad campaigns and blaming poor metrics for online. P&G don't sell products to you and me. P&G sell products to the likes of ASDA and Tesco. When P&G advertise on the TV they're doing that to encourage us to go to the shops and ask for P&G products. Cadbury is in the same boat; they don't sell their chocolate bars directly to us, they advertise so that we demand their chocolate from retailers and it is the retailers who then buy from Cadbury.

P&G picked up a lot of criticism for their move to stall their online efforts. I suspect they were not prepared for how vocal the net community is. They also seemed to be slightly shaky in their understanding of where TV is going (IPTV or V+, anyone?).

P&G may being Luddite about online and Cadbury may being progressive - but we're yet to see who's right.


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