Word-of-mouth was the driving factor behind the success of the Cadbury Bytes Sweet Fighter campaign by McCann Worldgroup Malaysia.
The campaign bagged the Gold Award at the recent PMAA (Promotion Marketing Awards of Asia) for Best Use of the Internet, Viral or Social Marketing in a Promotion Marketing Campaign.
In 2009, there was a sharp decline in the chocolates category and Cadbury wanted Bytes to grow for 2009 and 2010.
"Our client's brief to us was that they wanted to achieve an average of 20% monthly sales in 2009 for Bytes which was a big challenge with competitors such as Kit Kat and Cloud 9," said Ben Chew, director of client services, McCann Erickson Malaysia.
The initiative primarily targeted children between the ages of 9 -15 and a secondary market of those aged 15- 18 from mainly urban markets. The campaign ran from June to August 2009.
The highest affinity medium for the target market was internet usage with gaming ranking fourth among the top five activities online.
McCann Erickson successfully introduced the game Sweet Fighter to primary and secondary students by bringing the campaign into schools, selling the idea to headmasters with the entire crux of the game being heavily focused on reading about adventure stories (promoting literacy) and the need to online in order to play it (computer awareness).
The arcade game used simple graphics and children playing the game are required to make a choice between Sweet (honesty, compassion and courtesy) and Crunchy (bravery, determination, courage) to get to their final destinations.
Both choices are incorporated with virtues, at the same time translating the main properties of Cadbury Bytes to its audience.
While the campaign also utilised traditional media such as a 10 second tag on television and in-store materials, it was mainly the gaming website and word-of-mouth via students that got the campaign running.
According to Cadbury Confectionary Malaysia 2009 Nationwide Consumer Engagement KPI Review & Sales Value, 10,653 gamers registered, translating to 40% increase in Average monthly sales (20% higher than the client's target of 6,000 registrants or 20% increase in average monthly sales).
The game site also achieved 31,734 visitors over six weeks or 755 visitors per day (51% higher than the client's target of 21,000 visitors over six weeks or 500 visitors per day).
“In that recessionary period, to not drive purchase to play a game was amazing. Everybody was doing price cuts and promotions but we just got kids to come in and play. At the end, we really did very well,” said Chew.
Cadbury Bytes eventually outperformed in the Bite size segment and beat M&Ms for the first time, posting a 2.4% growth vs a segment decline of -4.4% as sourced on the Nielsen Retail Audit MAT in May 2009.
While actual figures were not revealed, the expenditure on the campaign was estimated to be between RM500,000 - 900,000 on media and RM150,000 -350,000 for production, activation and on-ground activities.
Written by Suzhen Ng, Malaysia
Malaysia - 20 September 2010