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Facebook campaigns are better than TV! That’s the overall message that one could have taken from Jerry Daykin’s talk at our JUMP conference last week, where the Mondelez EU social media manager shared some insights from the brand’s recent Crème Egg campaign.

But before you write an angry letter to the editor, there are obviously a number of caveats involved that will be explained forthwith.

Mondelez has a strong heritage of creating outstanding social content thanks to its various sub-brands which include Oreo and Cadbury.

One obvious case study is the over-hyped Oreo’s Super Bowl tweet that has become renowned in marketing circles for being the very definition of real-time advertising.

Daykin said that the key is to use social for micro-storytelling that utilises simple, sharable content rather than major campaigns and uploads.

To demonstrate what this means in practice Daykin shared the results from the Crème Egg social campaign that ran for the first three months of this year.

For more information on this topic, check out our previous posts on Cadbury's shift to social advertising and how it uses the four main social networks...

Crème Eggs

It’s a little known fact that Cadbury's Crème Eggs are only sold from January 1 through to Easter Sunday each year – though it’s also true that some disreputable shops ruin the magic by stocking the treats all year round.

And unfortunately for Cadbury sales of the chocolate eggs have been falling in recent years, declining 20% in 2011 and 19% in 2012

Daykin’s challenge was therefore to try and revive the product's plummeting fortunes by increasing sales among its target audience of 16-24 year olds.

In general this demographic is harder to reach through TV advertising, but is more likely to use mobile devices and “is massively over-indexed on Facebook.”

The challenge is to try and act on the same scale as a broadcaster, but using social. However you can’t be a broadcaster on social if you’re not going to listen to your community, so it forces you to think what fans want to see and engage with.

The solution was a campaign that invited people to ‘Have a fling with Crème Egg’, which helped to hammer home the point that the product is only available for a short time each year.

To achieve this Cadbury had to develop a new art of storytelling, creating a long series of one-off posts that fed into an overall narrative across the three months.

Each post was treated like a mini above-the-line execution and fed into one of four strategic pillars.

  1. Quickies – e.g. reactive tongue in cheek stuff.
  2. National obsession – this played on the idea that everyone loves Crème Eggs.
  3. Your Crème Egg fill – a pure take on the TV advert.
  4. Gooey, Choccy, Eggy, MMMM – posts based on people’s love for chocolate.

Daykin’s team started with some ideas, but over the course of the three months they let engagement guide them as to what type of content proved to be most effective.

The campaign was focused on reaching the right demographics, reminding people about Crème Eggs, and helpfully pushing them to eventually buy one.

As such the metrics were all based on engagement, as Cadbury wanted people to ‘like’, share and comment on posts.

Shares are the biggest factor on Facebook, as truly social stories should be something that people want to share. We learned from things that worked, but also learned to kill things that didn’t work.

One notable example of why it pays to listen and be reactive was the success of Crème Egg brownies.

One of the brand’s fans came up with the idea and posted a photo of the creation on their own wall, receiving about a dozen shares.

Daykin’s team noticed the photo and reposted it, resulting in another 85,000 shares.

We then got hundreds of posts per day from other people baking their own brownies. The team could never have come up with this idea on our own, it happened naturally but we were quick to react and reaped the rewards.

But in order to deliver at scale Cadbury didn’t just talk to its existing community, it also used paid media in the form of Promoted Posts.

In this way the existing community was used as a testing ground, so if a post reached certain engagement benchmarks then paid media was immediately switched on to make sure more people were exposed to it.

Daykin put it rather aptly:

If people aren’t engaging with your content, then there’s no real point in paying to promote it.

As a result, this ‘Smell like a Crème Egg’ post was one of a number of posts that was promoted using news feed ads. It reached a natural audience of 188,000, but paid media helped it to reach 1.45m people.

These are the overall results for the campaign over the three months:

  • 15.2m Facebook users were exposed to the posts, with an average frequency of 7.6 impressions.
  • 18-24 year-old users were reached nine times on average.
  • 4.63m interactions were driven by paid media at a cost of 8p cost per engagement.
  • As a result, sales of Crème Eggs increased by 7%

Daykin explained that the only major change this year was the shift in spending from TV to social.

Tracking the overall ROI by looking at the breakdown of purchase intent, 18% was driven by Facebook and 20% from TV advertising, even though the budget for social was around one-third the size of that spent on TV.

However the final results showed that the most effective strategy is a combination of both TV and Facebook ads, as likelihood to buy increased by 66% among consumers exposed to both channels compared to those who only saw one or the other.

David Moth

Published 14 October, 2013 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (1)

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Simon Lamey

Although this makes a good headline - and congrats to Cadbury's for showing how us great reach and great creative on Facebook can be effective without the obsession for 'deep' engagement - I don't think that we should get carried away just yet.

Professor Byron Sharp has written a fine post challenging this and I'd recommend reading this to balance it out: http://byronsharp.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/is-advertising-on-facebook-better-than-tv/#comments

It would be great to hear more behind this sales success story as I know that social faces more challenges to prove itself compared to other more established media.

about 3 years ago

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