The Irish are famous for their love of a good story and their sense of humor – a perfect audience for Cadbury’s “Unwrap Gold” promotion. Entering its second year, the campaign – 10 gold-wrapped candy bars redeemable for 18-carat gold bars – needed a new story. So in an effort to lift spirits and get people dreaming of striking it rich, Cadbury, through a five-day hoax, spread gold fever across the Emerald Isle.
Two “hikers” posted to YouTube their staged encounter with fictional prospector Chuck O’Byrne, who was busy panning for Wicklow’s fabled gold. Thus began a tall tale made more realistic because of recent rare earthquakes. To ignite interest in gold, the story was spooled out over five days through a partnership with Journal.ie, Ireland’s leading online news blog. The unbranded social, digital and news media campaign featured a clever media spend and prime-time TV slot that drove people to the video.
Reaction was swift, with nearly 1 million engagements in five days, as well as strong social media interaction. In addition, the campaign yielded a 38 percent combined-value sales increase for key Cadbury brands – and increased the company’s market share 3.6 percentage points.