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Cadbury Heroes Advent Calendar

An immersive experience that goes beyond pack

38,000 consumers engaged. 98,000 pieces of content generated. 5.7 million impressions achieved through social media shares. A Silver DBA Design Effectiveness Award. By combining traditional 2D packaging design with immersive technology and digital design, we’ve not only created the first ever advent calendar for Cadbury Heroes, we’ve brought the brand to life in a truly engaging way for the festive season…

As children get older, advent calendars become less relevant. Tasked with extending the target audience for the first Cadbury Heroes advent calendar to teens, we knew that something conventional just wouldn’t cut it. So we challenged the brief and encouraged our clients to expand their minds (and our remit) to create something that would really engage this hard-to-impress audience.

Knowing what we know about teenagers in the UK, we spotted an opportunity that fused the daily ritual of opening an advent calendar door with the fun and frivolous aspects of taking selfies and social media sharing.

Partnering with an Augmented Reality (AR) specialist, we embarked on a journey to merge the physical world with the digital one, creating a rich and layered experience for each day of advent. Along with their daily Heroes chocolate, consumers could scan the calendar with an app on their phone or tablet, immersing themselves in a digital Cadbury winter wonderland and unlocking a new festive selfie filter each day.

Every inch of our experience was considered and carefully mapped out. We designed and animated 24 bespoke selfie filters, taking into the account the distinct personalities of each of the Heroes chocolates, and we remixed the brand assets with seasonal icons to build anticipation and excitement for consumers each day.

People couldn’t help but share the daily festivities, and over 38,000 consumers interacted with their Cadbury Heroes advent calendar through the app during the 24-day period.

A staggering 98,000 pieces of content were created and shared across social media, generating an incredible 5.7 million impressions, and the sales results speak for themselves. Initially launched for Christmas 2017, and with very little in the way of promotional activity, Cadbury sold 44% more Heroes advent calendars than their target and it became the 4th best-selling chocolate advent calendar that year, making it the UK’s no.1 traditional Christmas NPD in 2017. In fact, it was such a successful launch that it was back on shelf for Christmas 2018.

Fact and figures and Silver DBA Design Effectiveness Award aside, what makes this a brilliant example of effective design is that the concept and execution align perfectly with Cadbury’s brand strategy of bringing families together. It’s an idea that taps into one of the key rituals of the festive season, and combines consumer insight with appropriate technology to appeal perfectly to the target audience.

Our Advent-ure with Cadbury has really excited our clients and given them the confidence to explore other possibilities to engage with consumers beyond packaging. We can’t wait to see what comes next…