Marketing campaign straight from planet Mars

Cadbury’s new advertisement   aims to appeal to the emotions of consumers. FILE PHOTO | REUTERS
Cadbury’s new advertisement aims to appeal to the emotions of consumers. FILE PHOTO | REUTERS 

Confectionery firm Cadbury Kenya Limited, a subsidiary of Mondelez International, last week launched a three-month marketing campaign featuring aliens, in a story theme that echoes some of Hollywood’s most successful movies and touches off multiple recognition points for consumers.

The advertisement is interstellar-themed and showcases a group of Martians — inhabitants of the planet Mars — who discover a stash of chocolate, which gets them dancing with irrepressible joy.

They love the Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate so much that they resort to invading the earth to search for even more joy in the form of chocolate.

“The ‘Martians’ marketing campaign is not based on these two movies; Interstellar and The Martian, but is rather more broadly based on the idea of there being life outside earth, i.e. the Martians. The use of these loveable creatures is intended to evoke feelings of joy and excitement in young and old consumers alike in Kenya,” said Lorna Kamemba, Cadbury’s Category Brand Manager.

“The same campaign has been launched by Cadbury’s in other countries where it operates in the world and has proved to be a hit with chocolate-lovers.”

Such marketing campaigns, where the consumers are able to relate the advertisement to a movie they have watched, even if coincidentally, is likely to create a stronger bond with the brand and influence their purchase decisions.

The movies The Martian and Interstellar, which tell the story of men who travel beyond the earth, were both international successes, grossing $630.2 million and $675.1 million respectively.

For fans of the movies, such a marketing campaign is likely to trigger their interest.

“Popular movies usually have a loyal following, thus when a company decides to associate its product with a successful movie, there is a high chance that they are likely to engage consumers that consider the movie a favourite and influence purchase decisions,” said Stella Kimani, a brand strategist.

“The stage is already set for the company in that it has a ready market and it is human instinct to purchase a product that evokes good emotions.”

In fact, according to a study published in the movie review website, Film Journal, moviegoers form a stronger emotional attachment to products associated with a film than to those connected with major televised events, TV shows, magazines and radio.

“For levels within the media mix, movies have a higher emotional attachment rating (41.5 per cent) than watching major televised sports and entertainment events. 44.5 per cent of health and beauty customers and 43.9 per cent of those purchasing consumer packaged goods and foods are emotionally attached to the movies, compared with 29.6 per cent and 28.9 per cent for television, 21.2 per cent and 20.5 per cent for radio, and 20.6 per cent and 19.2 per cent for magazines,” read the research report.

An example of a company that used this strategy successfully is US beauty Company, Storybook Cosmetics.

Last October, it launched a makeup line that featured a collection of Harry Potter-inspired makeup brushes that sold out almost immediately as fans of the fantasy novels, which have also been made into movies, ordered the products as soon as they were placed online for purchase.

“We did not expect the viral reaction at all. It is pretty unreal to have our brand mentioned as a top trend/beauty brand for 2016. The viral nature of the product launch catapulted our business into hyper-drive. We were planning to launch in December originally but the internet was begging for them sooner so we started a pre-sale and sold out almost immediately,” said Mandy Maynard, one of the founders of the company in an interview with online magazine, Bustle.