Few brands resonate as universally as Cadbury Dairy Milk. Rooted deeply in generosity, Cadbury has been a cornerstone in South African households for generations, not merely through its rich chocolate indulgences but through initiatives that touch lives.
The brand’s aim to inspire special moments of connection is brought to life through its call for South Africans to embrace the glass and a half of generosity in everyone.
Generosity beyond words – a glass and a half in every gesture
The successful completion of its Read To Succeed programme, which shone a light on the nation’s reading crisis, allows Cadbury to focus on the essence of human connection. An evolution that aims to embrace the beauty and impact of the little things we do for someone else, the small gestures that pack an emotional punch and bring people closer together.
The renewed focus sees Cadbury return to its core brand value and gives meaning to there’s glass and a half in everyone. A vital progression during a time when the pressures of life see us taking one another for granted and pushes us into autopilot – highlighting the relevance and need to create moments that uplift one another.
An Ogilvy creative director, Zesizwe Matthews, who, together with agency partners, is bringing this new brand positioning to life, says: “We want to reflect and tell stories about people and connections that we don’t usually share, like the vulnerability between a father and his son. It’s a connection not many brands are brave enough to explore and show.”
Cadbury has embraced the untold narrative through its new TVC, which explores a relatable yet often under-represented dynamic – the relationship between a father and his son and how they share a special moment of personal generosity. We see a son pause and turn his attention to his father, helping him get ready for his first date in years, secretly placing a Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate in his dad’s suit pocket as a good luck charm.
This seemingly small gesture has an enormous emotional impact, embodying the real spirit of Ubuntu, the profound sense that “I am, because you are”, and turning a touching moment into one of connection.
Lara Sidersky, the Mondelez SA category lead for chocolate, adds: “This TVC underscores our brand’s mantra, ‘There’s a glass and a half in everyone’, articulating how even the simplest acts of kindness can result in extraordinary moments of human connection.”
Turning the page on 1 500 South African stories
In 2020, Cadbury introduced the ‘Read to Succeed’ programme, which aimed to create 1 500 new children’s stories in all 11 official South African languages.
Sidersky, says: “This chapter in our generosity journey brought the brand and South Africans closer than ever before, not just sharing a bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk but sharing a love for reading, for culture, and most significantly, for generosity.”
The purpose-led approach improved the brand power score seeing an increase in brand meaning, difference, and salience with Cadbury consumers.
One remarkable story tied to the initiative is that of Yoza Mnyanda of KwaDarkie Fiction, a mom and musician, who felt the brand’s initiatives aligned with her parenting values and embraced every opportunity to inspire generosity through sharing words, stories and her voice.
“My collaboration with Cadbury felt incredibly organic. I was a first-time mom committed to teaching my daughter our home language. So, as the campaign progressed, I noticed it almost mirrored the milestones in my daughter’s life. From learning her first words to growing into a confident four-year-old, my daughter and I continue to walk this journey of generosity with Cadbury, even now as it evolves.”
Reflecting on whether the call to bring us closer together, through the power of generosity, resonates with South Africa’s social landscape, she adds: “We realise that generosity is a value deeply embedded in South African culture. As a parent, it's one of the first principles I teach. So, yes, a brand position built on generosity resonates with me and the broader community. We are generous people; it's a part of who we are.”
A new narrative: Generosity brings us closer together
Sidersky says: “Cadbury remains a brand rooted in the spirit of generosity now more than ever. We want to uplift South Africans and inspire them to consider how small gestures can have big emotional impact, reaffirming that truly, there's a glass-and-a-half in everyone.”