Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Takeover of memories is not possible!


This post was selected for Blogadda's Spicy Saturday Picks

Cadbury finally accepted the Kraft bid after much deliberations and discussions. Ever since the news first fell on my ears somewhere in Sep’09, I was restless.

I know and fully understand there is a certain reason for the takeover. Let’s not get there, the next few days we will see loads of stuff being written by the investment analysts, economists and the business barons. So a novice will not venture into that territory.

For an MBA grad, this will go down in the syllabus as another case study. I do that analysis a lot in my offline world and have studied numerous business cases during my B-School days. Objectively assessing M&A impacts - marketing strategies, the way forward, re-branding, goodwill value, brand value, balance sheet analysis, asset growth, debt obligations, impact on personnel, job losses, etc. My post is not about the technicalities – I leave that to the experts.

My post is from a common man’s point of view.

One who has been an ardent fan of this brand, the products and the adverts.

One who never stopped admiring and was in awe of the famous office at Peddar Road. That lovely CADBURY name embossed in purple-coloured huge letters on the building. I watched it every single day when I travelled to school and later to my B-School.

One who was elated when Cadbury returned to her B-school campus for recruitments after ages; but was completely heart-broken when it had positions open only for marketing buffs and not her chosen finance field.

Yeah, Cadbury had a huge influence in my life. When I was happy, I would go down to the store and grab a Rs5/- mini-bar. Sheer pleasure in simple things! Guess youngsters these days may not identify with these little joys we experienced while growing up. Memories that stay put in your mind even after decades pass by.

Even today, every single time I go to the hypermarket or grocery store, MDH finds me looking at it so lovingly that he cannot help but pick it up; despite my big claims of going off chocolates and cakes. When we were dating he would get me one every single time. He still wonders how this mini-little thing brings so much joy to my face.

No occasion in my life has gone without the presence of this amazing chocolate bar. I love its basic form. The simple plain Cadbury Dairy Milk bar in all shapes and sizes - the mini-one which had different animals and the medium-sized one with mini-cubes. I loved the amazing Cadbury Nutties too. I never shared them with anyone, it would pinch to spare one to anyone – it still does, though now I’m courteous enough to ask others when I’m hogging them away to glory.

There used to be times in college when I used be so hungry, tiffin was empty and trying to resist eating canteen food, I’d hop over to a grocery store or my canteen, pick up a mini-bar or the nutties pack, and it would help! Seriously help. The tummy would be full and I’d be relaxed.

I don’t eat foreign chocolates a-la Ferrero Rocher, Toblerone, Hershey etc. I know Cadbury is a British Company but it does not taste the same everywhere. So for me it was the company’s India arm that made those products with delicious taste.

The reason this chocolate charmed its way into our hearts was because of its remarkably simple advertisements. They depicted emotions – emotions of real people, like you and me. Situations you and me found ourselves many a times. We identified with them. The ads had the most hummable jingles - jingles that remain memorable and will never be forgotten.

For the people behind the brand and the company, the creative heads behind those amazing commercials that touched our hearts - A Big, Big, Big Thank You. You have assured that even though Kraft gets ready to takeover the Cadbury Brand , it will not be able to takeover our memories of you.

Yeah all you finance geeks and M& A experts try valuing our memories of Cadbury, we can bet that Kraft cannot afford them, at least in this lifetime because they are priceless.

Leaving you with some of my favourite Cadbury moments:

  1. This is my ultimate favourite of the ads that ran over decades. Obvious reasons – pick my first love and combine it with my favourite chocolate. It remains ‘Bahut Bahut Khaas’ (Very Very Special). Video
  2. Whenever I saw this ad – I identified with Omang Kumar – numerous times when I was walking home alone and eating my chocolate bar- the exact same thing happened with the exact same expression! Video
  3. I did not try this on my mehendi day – there were no chocolate bars lying around! Thank god for that – I agree with her, you cannot resist it! Video
  4. Cadbury replacing coconut for auspicious occasions – Yummy. Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye. Video
  5. The delight of reaching school on a rainy day and discovering it is closed for the day! Video
  6. And as a gift for Rakhsha Bandhan – why not. Rishte Yeh Pakne Do! Video
  7. When the postmen visit our homes for Diwali we think of the ‘special bonus’ we need to give them, this ad showed the reverse – how they gifted us an even more special bonus – a bonus of double the joy that comes from being together and sharing happy moments. I love Sulabha Deshpande’s reaction though! Video
  8. If this one won’t bring a smile to your face, tell me what will? Tell me secretly weren’t you elated when the grandpa managed to rip the young bloke apart – literally! Video
  9. You will always need a reason to be sad or angry, you will never need a reason to be happy, just happy. Think of the million times when you were happy without a reason and thought “Mein Khush Hoon Aaj Khamaka Yaaron! Video

A friend’s FACEBOOK status said - “CAD-BURIED”. He is right about the company but not the memories associated with it – those will never die and be buried.

11 comments:

pagpri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
starry eyed said...

Lovely yummy post! Even I felt weird reading the headline. I mean, say 'Cadbury', and you can taste the chocolate melting in your mouth. Say 'Kraft' and you can only taste cheese :(

BNETJH said...

Thanks for the link your take on Cadbury's (probable) demise. Interesting to hear your point of view in light of where you're based -- trying to figure out how much nationality matters in business. What do you think?

Minal said...

@Starry: Thank you! And so true what you say

Archana Rao said...

Cadbury sure is the all time fav choc! 5 Star, nutties! and even the plan dairy milk! my favorites... I agree with not sharing the dairy milk/nutties 5 star as kids! Well now i have learned to share and gift it as well. I think from the time i worked on Cadbury i started gifting Cadbury more often.

my fav ad still remains the cricket ground!
another of my fav ones (only for the reason that i worked on the making of it) is this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yw4N555hk5c

Minal said...

@BNETJH: Thanks for visiting. I think nationality makes a huge difference tothe way business is conducted. Cadbury got it right in India. Indians are emotional by nature - well atleast most of them. We feel happy with the simplest things in life just cause the way we are brought up and the way our culture is. Today's India and youth is way different from that in the 90s. Cadbury touched our hearts more than our minds through its adverts. I think it was by far one of the biggest brands in the country in terms of brand recognition. If you tap the pulse of your target audience you've hit bullseye. What works in UK, USA may not work in India and vice-versa. So yes I think nationality and culture does make difference to way you conduct business. My view:-)

@Archana: Ok now I envy and admire you!!! You got to work with the one company I desparately wanted to! And what's great is you did an ad too!!!! lucky girl!!!

indianhomemaker said...

I agree Minal, I also associate chocolate with Cadbury (or even Nestle) and Kraft with Cheese ... it will take some getting used to for so many of us!!!

'A gift for someone you love" was my favorite ad :)

Minal said...

@IHM: You are so right! It will take sometime!Indeed it was a gift for someone you love- I got mine from my parents,friends and MDH often:-)) And when I gifted too a big Bar of dairly milk it was along with the other gifts:-))

The Survivor said...

The brand "Cadbury" will remain as Kraft only wants to make its presence felt in India. Something that it could not do so on its own.

If they do change the name of the brand then they will be taking a big risk in that.

Avijit said...

First of all let me tell you .. I feel much more honoured and proud of my company after witnessing the emotions you attach to it .. Really, its a great company and believe me, the Brand WILL remain in tact. I don't think Kraft will touch it. Will simply not make business sense - its just too close to everyone's heart.

Tell the friend who wrote "cad - buried" that it is not possible to bury giants so easily :-) .. On a practical note also, Kraft has no operations in India so we guys are actually not afraid at all. In fact we are happy that we are now the part of a much larger company while knowing that Cadbury as a brand will always remain :-)

Minal said...

@Survivor: Hope what you say remains true!

@Avijit: That's heartening to hear from someone in the company!!:-)