By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

April 28, 2021 | 3 min read

Amid a reopening of the UK, Mondelez’s Cadbury has released an ad urging people to support their local high street with a loving chocolate purchase that isn’t Cadbury.

It is among the many brands looking to kickstart the economy after a prolonged period of lockdown. To hammer home the point it has reworked its ‘Mum’s Birthday’ ad, which depicts a heart-warming scene between the local shop owner and a young girl getting her mum a chocolate birthday gift.

We’ve seen a trend from large UK brands urging support for the indies in the sectors that need it most, whether that’s Tesco urging a return to the pub or Burger King encouraging people to try local takeaways instead.

As the market leader, the wider 'For the Love of Chocolate' campaign is Cadbury’s effort to drive brand awareness, share a kind message, and show a bit of confidence in its position. It arrives fresh off the back of research from business insurance firm Simply Business showing that UK small businesses have lost nearly £69bn in sales during the pandemic and that 40% have or will close.

Cadbury has rationalized the campaign by pointing to its origins as an independent chocolate shop on Birmingham’s Bull Street in 1824. At the heart of the push is a partnership with six independent high street chocolate shops across the country including Hill Street in Essex; Chouchoute in Birmingham; Choc on Choc in Bath; Melange in London; Cocoa Amore in Leicester; and Cocoa Cabana in Manchester.

The integrated campaign will play out across TV, YouTube and OOH, with an activation on Cadbury Gifts Direct as well as a shop activation in Birmingham. PR is supported by Golin, and media planning and execution is by Carat.

Since 2018, Cadbury has been working with VCCP on this thread that shows the power of a chocolate gift. Much of the work has focused on elderly loneliness and has targeted men in particular through some high-profile football activations.

Colin O’Toole, associate director of marketing for Cadbury UK and Ireland at Mondelez, said: “We are proud to be supporting local chocolatiers across the UK. As a nation, we’ve always been lucky to have a thriving chocolate scene, full of variety and creativity; and at Cadbury, we of course understand what it’s like to start out as a small independent chocolate shop. So we wanted to take the opportunity to support our fellow chocolatiers and ask the nation to do the same. After all, it’s all for the love of chocolate.”

Jonny Parker, executive creative director at VCCP, added: “As, fingers crossed, some sort of normality is just around the corner, we wanted to do our bit to get the Great British High Street back on its feet. It felt a bit wrong but then very right that Cadbury supported independent chocolate shops, all for the love of chocolate.”

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