How Cadbury captured the nation with the presale launch of Twirl Orange on Twitter
trending worldwide and in the UK
With the public hungry for good news in August 2020, Cadbury UK (@CadburyUK) took to Twitter to launch the world's very first presale of a chocolate bar. Building on the Twitter buzz around the release of the Twirl Orange from 2019, Cadbury returned with a targeted presale of 10,000 bars.
The presale was a response to Tweets from desperate sweet-toothed fans who failed to get their hands on the limited-edition bar last year. As well as creating anticipation around the relaunch of a cult classic snack and giving UK chocolate fans a much-needed reason to smile, the campaign drove traffic to Cadbury Gifts Direct and teased the instore release of the Twirl Orange in September.
Cadbury used Twitter's platform to build on the previous buzz created by the Twirl Orange and raise awareness of the first-ever presale for a chocolate bar — a Twitter-exclusive event.
The main group targeted by the giveaway was people aged 18-34 years old who were in search of an indulgent snack to help them get through the afternoon or evening. This segment of millennials and Gen Zers is Cadbury's key growth audience and also a large portion of Twitter's advertising market.
Created by ad agency VCCP, in collaboration with Twitter, media agency Carat, and social media experts Guud, the campaign centred on a live presale, just like buying tickets for a festival — but with chocolate.
Create buzz with a presale reminder.
On 13 August, a Like to Remind Tweet was posted to hook people into the #TwirlOrangePresale of 5,000 bars, garnering massive engagement. Twirl devotees were then sent a reminder Tweet on the morning of the presale, which was set to kick off at 12 midday. To access the presale, snack hunters simply had to Tweet @CadburyUK with #TwirlOrangePresale.
Create an exclusive online retail event.
Creating the nail-biting thrill of waiting in a select line for their sweet prize, Tweets were sent to each entrant telling them their position in the queue. On reaching the front of the queue, they received another Tweet with their unique code and a link to the secret presale page. Those who weren't quick enough were greeted with a Tweet about the new snacks going on general sale in mid-September.
Boost visibility with a live stream.
The first giveaway of 5,000 Twirl Oranges on 18 August was followed by another 5,000-bar bonanza two days later. For each of the two giveaways, @CadburyUK ran a live broadcast on Twitter including instructions on how to enter the presale. This gave a major boost to the visibility of the campaign, popping up at the top of the Twitter timeline for anyone following Cadbury UK.
Satisfying the sweet cravings of 10,000 chocolate aficionados, the Cadbury campaign was a big success with more than 164K engagements on Twitter.
At its peak, the campaign trended #1 both in the UK and worldwide and produced an impressive 2.81% engagement rate, hitting well over double the industry benchmark engagement rate of 0.5-1.0%.
The total time spent on the live stream was an impressive 158k minutes. What's more, the Twirl Orange presale managed to clock up a tasty 9.5 million impressions, well ahead of the planned 8.8 million.
On 18th August (first day), 5000 Tweets with the hashtag were received within 03:10 minutes. On 20th August (second day), @CadburyUK received the 5000 Tweets with the hashtag in just 01:50 minutes.
Reflecting the success of the campaign and the never-ending appeal of a revamped chocolate bar, the story generated a huge amount of earned media. Positive coverage was published in a wide range of titles from nationals like The Sun, Metro.co.uk, and the Express to lifestyle sites like Good Housekeeping, along with ad industry title The Drum.
Twitter were instrumental in the success of the Cadbury Twirl Orange presale, providing a wealth of knowledge around user behaviour on the platform, clear understanding of the live-stream functionalities, and valuable advice on campaign mechanic optimisation.
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