Monday, June 17, 2013

Brand Update : Cadbury Bournville says its "Not So Sweet " but why ?

Cadbury Bournville launched in 2009 created a new market for premium dark chocolate in Indian market. The brand smartly positioned itself as THE premium chocolate with a tagline of " You don't buy a Bournville , you earn it ". The launch and follow up campaign effectively conveyed the positioning.

But the 2013 campaign comes as a shocker. The brand has ditched the " You have to earn it " positioning and took on something very peculiar - the new tagline is " Not so Sweet".
The new tvc is equally intriguing.
 Watch the new tvc here : Bournville tvc
The question is why a brand like Bournville ditch such a powerful positioning statement and replace that with a dud !

Not so sweet !! now everyone knows dark chocolate is not that sweet so in this ad, what exactly the brand is conveying - only the agency and the brand manager knows. I presume that this ad is directly imported from some other market and put in the Indian media without much thought. The ad is totally disconnected with the Indian market and fails to evoke anything in the consumer's mind. At end of it the question remains " What the heck ?
 Saving cost by killing the brand ?

Related brand
Bournville : You have to earn it 


  1. "You don't buy a Bournville , you earn it" was indeed a classic statement. However, i think the "Not so sweet" refers to it being the 'finest dark chocolate'. It may also be imported directly from other market and put into Indian market like you have pointed out. The statement does make the customer think about its health benefits pointing out it is the 'finest dark chocolate'. The market segment which does buy the chocolate are mostly the health conscious people and to them I don't think the change in statement will cause any difference.

  2. The fact that Bournville is bitter was not the core message before this. My guess is they want to educate a larger audience(maybe even the mass) about the difference between regular chocolate and the dark chocolate - which wud explain the sweet versus bitter track. also, they have always used foreigners in their ads - wasnt very surprised with the direct import. The ad has a very relatable sticky quotient for me

  3. Hello Sir,
    I am a regular follower of your blog and would like to comment on this particular post. I think Bournville is trying to promote itself to those people who like chocolates a lot but often avoid it because of general perception of "sweetness" associated with chocolates leading to obesity. So don't you think it is a smart move by Cadbury to position Bournville as a non-sweet chocolate??

  4. @Riti and @horizon, I agree both the positioning could be international first one did not disturb Indian market but second sound irrelevant to Indian market. For Indian market chocolate = Sweet, consumers are largely younger age group. so the positioning statement is not relevant I feel. I go with the author.

  5. right, when any company comes in the market, its not branded from first day. It takes time to make popular in market. their quality, their products, warranty, all things are matter. same if you want to make your website popular on internet then you must content this SEO company.

  6. Jinesh Damodaran2:52 PM

    I would say that at some instances a bold move opted by a brand works. Telling the truth. For ex. Perfetti Vanmelle had a product called Centre Shock which had a tingy bitter taste. Perfetti created a segment but here there already exists a market of dark chocolate though in India it lacks awareness. Cadbury may have thought of educating the TG, hence such a positioning...nevertheless earlier tagline was the best.

  7. I doubt that whether everyone knows that a dark chocolate is not that sweet but this is true that if any body tasted it then he or she might be aware of the sweetness of a dark chocolate like Bournville and I guess that the campaign is used to attract those who have not yet tasted Bournville. I don't think that Indians only like sweet chocolates they always try and accept a new taste if it is affordable to the mass.

  8. Dear Harish. We had faced a similar situation in one of our brands. I think the reason Bournville is doing it because they would have done a consumer research after launch. And would have realized that for consumers expectations are not matching delivery - expectations that a chocolate would be sweet even if dark, and actual delivery that dark chocolate is not sweet.
    This way they are trying to reduce dissatisfaction among new consumers. They have already established the earlier message ' You don't buy it, you ear it" in minds of consumers establishing brand premiumness. Now is the time to reach right TG.

    Akash Mittal

  9. you are a professor , and u don't have a common sense to under the market idea they have adopted...bournville when came to India with the premium positioning it was vitally accepted but Indian consider chocolate to be sweet but not bitter... so bournville faced a decline in Indain market ...that is why bournville re-positioned itself in the market with a intelligent tagline of not so sweet... Informing the Indian market about their taste "not so sweet" and dark chocolate... cadbury have re-positioned the product brilliantly.

    1. This is what i was looking for, thanks

    2. Priya that is bad way to insult a prof you may have divergent viewpoint dont make it personal

  10. Hello guys as an expert in the industry & marketing my take is that Cadbury's is trying to prempht launch of Hersheys in India. I tasted their product in Singapore. It is far superior to Cadburys in texture, smootness & after taste. One cannot but wonder why Hersheys are waiting for launching their Kisses & other range. Hope it answers your doubt guys


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