After numerous requests, this blog post looks at the current Canadian advertising campaign for Cadbury’s Caramilk chocolate bars which revives their Caramilk SECRET campaign from many years ago. “How do they get the caramel inside the Caramilk bar?” This is the light hearted theme of the 2009 Caramilk summer advertising campaign, STILL WONDERING, which picks up on a communications platform that has run intermittently for over 35 years.
The Caramilk SECRET campaign was made popular over the years, originating back to 1968, when the first Caramilk SECRET ad launched showing a person drilling a hole in the Caramilk chocolate bar prompting the question, “How do they get the Caramilk inside the Caramilk bar?” Probably one of the most famous TV spots was the Cannes and Clio award winning MONA LISA commercial from 1973 where the Mona Lisa smile was attributed to her secretly eating a piece of Caramilk chocolate while Leonardo da Vinci was trying to figure out the Caramilk secret.
After numerous ads over the years that followed the Caramilk SECRET platform, and a diversion over the last 5 years to focus on the eating experience, Caramilk had gone back to its roots and launched another SECRET campaign, STILL WONDERING, which begs the question, “How do they get the caramel inside the Caramilk bar?” This campaign is rather unusual in its whimsical approach and has been met with mixed reviews. Many people enjoy its eccentric qualities, while others have questioned, “What were they thinking?” Nonetheless, when one looks at the campaign in context of the light hearted approach of previous Caramilk SECRET campaigns and the type of humour used, it falls into place quite nicely. Of course, the issue that currently exists is that awareness levels of previous Caramilk SECRET campaigns remains relatively low after a lengthy hiatus. This issue will be remedied over time through consistent messaging and strong media weights which will give the campaign additional traction.
The STILL WONDERING campaign, created by Saatchi and Saatchi New York, includes TV spots, on-line components, print ads, a microsite, and audio boards on the Toronto subway system. At the end of June, 2009, 50 innovative interactive audio boards were put on the Toronto subway system allowing listeners to plug their earphones into various spots on a Caramilk STILL WONDERING ad to listen to an assortment of quirky voices, unusual accents, strange sounds, and foreign languages, all intentionally incoherent in their explanation on how the caramel gets inside the Caramilk bar. There are six selections on the ad (see above); a five year old boy, a Cockney man, a Xhosa tribesman, a whale, a fax machine, and a speed reader! These Caramilk STILL WONDERING audio options can also be seen and heard on videos posted on the campaign’s microsite at http://www.stillwondering.ca/. People that have listened to the audio transit ad seem rather amused, perhaps a little confused, but have nonetheless enjoyed it enough to spread the word to others, encouraging them to also listen to the ad.
The TV component of this campaign MODERN DANCE is currently playing at heavy weights, using an interpretive dance, a Cirque du Soleil type spoof, to explain the secret of how the caramel gets inside the Caramilk bar. Some have called the spot bizarre while others have enjoyed its quirkiness. MODERN DANCE is certainly unusual and uses a catchy sound track reminiscent of melodic, Peruvian folk music to engage viewers. The music track, called Cachapaya from the Swingle Singers, is originally from the British-South American band Incantation.
Below you can appreciate the Caramilk SECRET platform by listening to a short interview with Cadbury’s on their Caramilk brand and see segments of their original 1968 ad. You can also see the famous Mona Lisa ad from 1973, followed by two further spots in the SECRET platform. Their current STILL WONDERING campaign for Caramilk follows, including their interpretive MODERN DANCE spot and website executions for COCKNEY, XHOSA, and 5 YEAR OLD. The STILL WONDERING microsite is at http://www.stillwondering.ca/. By the way, Cadbury tell us the Caramilk secret is still safely under lock and key in their vault!
Cadbury Interview with Watch Mojo.com
Caramilk Mona Lisa Spot, 1973
Cadbury Caramilk Spot, 1986
Cadbury Caramilk Factory Spot
Cadbury Caramilk Modern Dance Spot, 2009
Cadbury Caramilk Secret Revealed in Cockney, 2009
Cadbury Caramilk Secret, Revealed in Xhosa, 2009
Cadbury Caramilk - 5 Year Old, 2009