How Cadbury educated audiences about deaf inclusivity with Love Island’s Tasha Ghouri
The campaign won in the Content and the Consumer categories at The Drum Marketing Awards EMEA 2023.
Tasha Ghouri describes her deafness as a superpower
Cadbury Fingers used popular culture and a social stunt to create noise and evoke emotional responses through earned media, partnering with the National Deaf Children’s Society to create the ‘Sign with Fingers Big and Small’ campaign that encouraged the nation to learn British Sign Language (BSL).
The Cadbury Fingers brand encourages shared moments, but in this campaign it took a different approach and flipped the narrative to create a campaign that triggers fear of missing out, or ‘Fomo’, among the hearing nation.
For the deaf community, Fomo is a feeling that follows them day to day, with Cadbury Fingers’ research showing that over 50% experience a missed moment of connection at least once a day. Therefore, the brand decided to raise awareness on the matter and encourage people to learn the basics of BSL.
Together with the National Deaf Children’s Society, a co-creation panel made up of deaf people and an external consultant, Cadbury Fingers created a campaign that included learning resources and accessible press materials in BSL.
The idea was to raise awareness by using social media to trigger as many reactions as possible. To get people talking, deaf Love Island favorite Tasha Ghouri and Giovanni Pernice, the Strictly Come Dancing partner of deaf contestant Rose Ailing-Ellis, revealed juicy relationship exclusives in social media videos.
The twist was that these exclusives were in BSL only and the subtitles were obscured. Only people who are familiar with BSL could follow the exclusives, while the rest of the nation experienced the feeling of exclusion and were left in the dark with no explanation for 24 hours.
Creating the feeling of frustration and triggering angry reactions was part of Cadbury’s ‘tease and reveal’ strategy. It demonstrated to people how the deaf community feels when they are excluded from conversations.
When Cadbury dropped a reveal video the day after, reactions on social media were positive and emotional. One mother commented: “Yes, yes, yes!!!! Mother of a deaf child here. Love seeing this – we need more work done to promote BSL.”
Among the hearing population, the campaign was equally a success and received a lot of positive feedback.
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The emotional stir that the campaign created saw many positive outcomes – both for the deaf community and for Cadbury Fingers’ brand. 53% of Brits would now consider learning some phrases in BSL to make deaf people feel more included, compared with 45% before the launch of the campaign.
The campaign was covered in every national news title and Sky News Sunrise aired a six-minute segment where Ghouri taught the presenter BSL. On social media, the campaign created noise as well. It generated over 5.5m combined organic video views as well as 350,000 likes and over 5,000 positive comments on talent social posts.
Cadbury’s brand purpose was strengthened by the collaboration. There has been a 20% increase in association between Cadbury Fingers and its brand purpose of ‘everyday moments of connection’.