The latest edition of the Cadbury Silk ads is out. Set in a library, it continues the visual code (if you can call it that) of sticky, gooey chocolate being eaten in a messy way (when was the last time you saw an adult with chocolate stains across his face, like an infant eating food?). This time around it is not just about adults indulging on their own, but a gent offers his saliva laden, half-bitten chocolate to someone else.
Now, I understand that creative teams are always dying to do something different, especially if it means breaking away from category cliches (think bathing & milk pouring shots in soap commercials, ingredients like wheat & butter coming together in a biscuit commercial and so on) especially in food advertising. Some actively avoid doing what is common in a category. But there is a basic truth about any category of advertising be it foods or personal care – the advertising must make you want to use the product. Better still, crave for it. Craving is what food ads aim to create – that’s the reason why so much care goes into product shots – the ad must look mouth-wateringly good.
Maybe it’s just me but the Cadbury Silk ads (even the old ones, especially the one where a guy goofily eats the brand sitting on the stairs) evoke the exact opposite of craving in me. I find them repulsive even. I feel they go against the basic tenets of food advertising (though some may disagree with me and find the visuals appealing). The team has persisted with this theme for quite a while now – so one assumes that it is working for the brand, in terms of sales, affinity or whatever the measure is. While I am a big fan of the advertising for Mondelez India’s other brands, I am not a fan of Cadbury Silk’s advertising.