'Kuch khas hain' says industry about Mondelez's Cadbury ad revisit

The iconic 90s campaign, created by Ogilvy, comes with a bigger message this time around as gender roles get swapped

e4m by Mansi Sharma
Published: Sep 18, 2021 9:02 AM  | 4 min read
cadbury ad

Almost two decades after the unabashed dancing of a Cadbury Girl Shimona Rashid on the cricket field, Cadbury Dairy Milk and its creative agency partner Ogilvy have rekindled the memory, possibly in a much sweeter way this time.

The brand launched the revamped version of its iconic “Kuch Khas Hai” campaign on Friday, swapping the genders; the woman plays cricket and her boyfriend rushes to the field, dancing happily to celebrate her hitting a sixer. 

While the aim of the iconic campaign in the 90s was to get the adults to eat chocolate, this time, the cause is nobler -- to support gender inclusivity. And the marketing industry is loving it! 

Watch the ads:

Brand Strategist, Coach & Industry Veteran Ambi Parameswaran says, “I think the Cadbury Cricket ad is one of the most widely recalled and loved ads produced in the television era. In my book Nawabs Nudes Noodles - India Through 50 Years of Advertising I have traced the origin of the ad to a very powerful consumer insight: Why can’t grown adults enjoy chocolates? What can jolt them out of seeing chocolates as a product only meant for kids? The ad worked brilliantly for the brand and many campaigns pushing adult consumption have followed. It is therefore apt that the ad was rejigged for the new era when a girl could be playing cricket and an anxious boyfriend could be chewing on his Cadbury Dairy Milk. 

“One wonders if this was waiting to be done for a few years! But that said, both the agency and the client should be complimented for making the ad and staying faithful to the original. It almost feels like a spoof of the original, and that was probably the intention. I loved it when I saw it this morning. And when you see something like this you wonder ‘Hell, why did I not think of this first!’ Kudos to the agency and the client!” 

Elephant Design Co-founder and Director Ashwini Deshpande is also elated to see a brand celebrating women's cricket in this manner, “I loved the ad. It is still a great story told with different characters this time. While it does have an amazing agenda, it is done without any patronizing or in-your-face attitude. And that is what I really like about this ad. My sister played cricket for the state in the 80s and even formed her team out of a (then) small town like Aurangabad. It has taken 40 odd years for women's cricket to get anywhere close to mainstream, which is so welcome. Cadbury's & Ogilvy - well done you!” 

SheThePeopleTV Founder Shaili Chopra feels that the ad makes a fearless point in a familiar voice and that works in its favour, “The ad carries a long-overdue message of gender swap in a society that compartmentalises roles for men and women. In that sense, the ad is a feel-good nudge to fence-sitters and a fun champion of gender equality efforts needed via something familiar and mass media. It narrates the fact that brands can change and must change and propel a strong message of equality in creative ways that have an impact.” 

Columbia Pacific Communities SVP Marketing Piali Dasgupta says, "The ad is one of those rare ads that fill your heart with joy and makes you want to watch it time and again. It’s such a well-timed ad with the Women’s International T20 World Cup going on. And yes, it’s a fantastic way of ensuring gender neutrality in advertising and should have been done long back." 

Treize Communications Founder and CEO Sonam Shah adds, “Mondelez has taken a great step by recreating this iconic Cadbury ad and attaching an important message of today's era. The buzz it has created, within the industry as well as the consumers, is phenomenal. The campaign does a commendable job in taking people down the nostalgia road and striking the right chords of human emotions. Recreating legacy ads holds a very big risk if the execution is not done well or doesn't go well within the audience. So kudos to Ogilvy for taking this step! Overall, it's a great ad and will hold great brand recall value in the long run.” 

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