Birthdays are always cause for celebration - and Cadbury used this one to renew marketing efforts, says Stefan Chomka

According to Cadbury Trebor Bassett, 2005 has been the biggest year in Dairy Milk’s 100-year history, with the introduction of a raft of new products and formats as well as marketing to remind people that Dairy Milk is still very much alive and kicking.
The company’s £20m Celebrating 100 Years of Happiness campaign kicked off in January with what Cadbury says was the first ever major Dairy Milk on-pack promotion, giving away 100,000 seats at the best British music, sport, theatre and cinema events. This was followed a few months later with The Happiness Factory, a promotion that gave consumers the chance to win a prize of their dreams, from swimming with sharks to recording their own pop song.
Cadbury’s centenary year couldn’t have come at a better time for the company, as sales of the Dairy Milk brand have been suffering. According to ACNielsen, sales of standard Dairy Milk dropped 2.2% in the latest year, (MAT to August 6, 2005).
In a category where brands continually jostle for shelf space, being able to create new products and marketing campaigns around one pivotal theme which runs throughout the year works as a constant reminder for consumers. In Dairy Milk’s case, focusing a whole series of NPD around one brand has enabled Cadbury to play to its strengths, says Mike Tipping, head of customer relations at Cadbury Trebor Bassett.
“Innovation within parts of the category continues to play a vital role in stimulating consumers,” says Tipping. “Cadbury Dairy Milk has demonstrated that the strength of the overall masterbrand can help drive sales and growth of a product already familiar to millions of consumers.”
As part of the centenary celebrations, this year Cadbury has launched Dairy Milk Almond & Honey as well as Dairy Milk Turkish. It has also produced its Dairy Milk Wafer into the large block format and brought Dairy Milk Orange Chips into a single snacking format.
Share tubs of individually-wrapped Dairy Milk, Crunchie and a variety of the complete Dairy Milk range also support the brand’s sharing qualities and will reinforce Dairy Milk’s place in the big night in category, says Tipping.
In addition, the company has marked its birthday with heritage packs inspired by designs from the past century, a format that it hopes will become collectors’ items. Available from last month, the range includes 5x200g boxes of five bars with packaging from the past 100 years and three varieties of collection tins filled with miniatures.
And Cadbury clearly believes all this effort is going to pay off. The company is expanding its manufacturing plant at Bournville with new wrapping and packing lines and an extra chocolate manufacturing area for the production of Dairy Milk. The work is scheduled to be finished by autumn next year.