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Inclusive Marketing: Cadbury Advert 2021

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As we turn the corner of opinion news surrounding Oatly’s Superbowl advert, we’re greeted by the controversy over Cadbury’s latest TV advert featuring: Two Men, One Creme Egg. 

Firstly, we want to say what a fun advert! It shows five different eating techniques and as a British Cadbury lover, I can safely say I’ve mastered every single one myself – including rather ashamedly dipping McDonald’s fries in (I was young so forgive me!).  

Cadbury’s ad highlights the lickers letting loose, the bakers bringing it, the eggsperts who’ve got it, the dippers flexing it, the discreeters emerging out of their shell and lastly (causing controversy), the sharers! What we personally love about the advert is that it’s not only fun and celebratory of Cadbury’s 50th anniversary, but it also goes beyond their own business needs to tackle universal issues of homophobia and help normalize same sex relations… 

because why does it need to be a man and woman kissing on adverts when same sex relations exist? Why can’t we include everyone?   

Hello, Inclusive Marketing:  

Inclusive marketing is now more important than ever. It’s all about showcasing diversity in race, gender, background, sexual orientation, religion and beyond.  It’s about the boy in a wheelchair who is still an athlete, the girl in the headscarf who is empowered and beautiful, the two men who also like to share their chocolate!

As marketers, and particularly as businesses with expansive reach and influence, we must  take responsibility for the content we share with the world and its social impact… Because just like we consume the food on our table, we also consume the adverts around us – both subconsciously and by choice. 

In the words of Seth Godin, “our job is to make change. Our job is to connect to people, to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them.”  

The Ad History of Au Chocolat

Historically, chocolate ads have often been linked to sex and senual energy (chocolate is scientifically proven to boost sex drive) – and the ads have certainly shown more sex appeal than Cadbury’s PG13 egg sharing. Take a look at Cadbury’s earlier 1992 flake advert featuring a woman in a bathtub…or the adulterous implications of the woman on the M&Ms advert…and the best of all…1848’s super orgasmic chocolate ad.

As consumers, we are also continuously subjected to sexualized images on adverts, on billboards, in magazines – with little to no backlash on how it impacts religious beliefs or the minds of our children.

But…there’s always 25,000! The number representing the amount of people who have currently signed a petition in hopes of the advert being banned – claiming it was offensive to the Christian religion to show two men being intimate with one another. Many viewers also took to Twitter, claiming that it was too sexual for children.

What did they have to say?

Cadbury has released a statement in response, stating the two men who were from the same household due to COVID-19, were “egg-static” to share a Creme Egg together and they had no plans of retracting the advert. We also particularly love heterosexual Paddy McGuiness’s repsonse, who claims he got there first… alongside many others who defended the ad with good humour.

Our takeaway:  

Inclusive marketing is all about the content you share: from tone and language to use of images and visuals and topics of conversation. In a world full of political unrest, discrimination and prejudice, as showcased in recent events during the worldwide BLM movement, we believe inclusivity must play a role in every company’s marketing.  

Which basically means…we want to see more men sharing Creme Eggs, please!

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