Masterclassing

Cadbury's annual Secret Santa Postal Service will give away 120,000 bars of chocolate for free

David Murphy

Cadbury has launched its Secret Santa Postal Service. The activation will pop up in digital and static posters across the country for six weeks until Christmas Eve. On a mission to unite the nation around a simple gesture that echoes the true spirit of Christmas, Cadbury will be inspiring people to send a free chocolate bar, in secret, to someone special. 

At the heart of the integrated campaign, developed in partnership with VCCP London and production partners Bernadette and Girl&Bear, are hundreds of digital 6-sheet, static and flyposters that will be popping up across the UK. The posters will invite members of the public to send chocolate secretly to someone special, for free, by scanning a QR code. Each digital poster will also feature a Cadbury Secret Santa postie who will hold up a range of welcoming signs from his Cadbury post room and explain what the Secret Santa Postal Service is and how the nation can take part in the campaign.

A total of 120,000 Cadbury chocolate bars will be released gradually every day of the activation until 24 December to ensure as many people as possible have the opportunity to send chocolate secretly to someone special. The digital posters will pop up at random throughout the day, playing into the excitement of giving anonymously at Christmas. 

Subject to availability, people can choose from a range of products, including Cadbury’s original Cadbury Dairy Milk bar, and Oreo, Caramel, Wholenut, Fruit and Nut and Plant bars. Also available is a range of seasonal products from the winter range, including the Cadbury Dairy Milk Mini Snowballs bar and Cadbury Dairy Milk Winter Wonderland bar. All of the options are the standard size and available in shops. 

For this year’s campaign, Bernadette has enabled a digital experience once the QR code has been scanned to give customers a more personable and interactive experience with the Cadbury postie, Jeff. Similarly, across static posters and flyposters, the poster will come to life using augmented reality. 

Alongside the poster activation, Cadbury has created a 30-second film which heroes the Cadbury postie and the act of sending chocolate secretly. The film welcomes viewers into the festive Cadbury post room, where Cadbury fans are introduced to the possibility of sending an anonymous bar of chocolate for free through dedicated posters. The creative showcases a range of poster locations; from station platforms to the seaside, and calls on the nation to think of someone special who might need a little lift this Christmas with this simple gesture of secret giving. 

The campaign will be supported by a dedicated Cadbury Secret Santa website which will act as the campaign’s central hub, giving people insight into where their nearest poster might be. The campaign will keep consistency throughout with social and digital ads also featuring the Cadbury postie, directing people to keep their eyes peeled for a poster or search Cadbury Secret Santa to find out more.

“We are thrilled to be celebrating another year of selfless festive giving with Cadbury Secret Santa,” said Emma Paxton, Senior Brand Manager for Cadbury Christmas. “It is so exciting that more people than ever before will be able to become Secret Santas by sending a small gift of chocolate secretly to someone special, especially this year where more people are in need of a little lift than ever before.”

The Cadbury Secret Santa postal service will run from today for six weeks until Christmas Eve across UK TV, VOD, Cinema, OOH, DOOH, Social, Print, Radio and Digital. The posters and wider campaign media were planned and booked by Carat. A consumer PR campaign will also support the campaign run by Ogilvy PR. 

Cadbury is also partnering with The Trussell Trust for the third year running this Christmas. It will be donating 75,000 bars of chocolate to over 200 food banks in the Trussell Trust network, and also making a financial donation to support the Trust’s longer-term mission of fighting hunger in the UK.