Cadbury – Secret Santa Campaign

An Introduction

In its fifth year, Cadbury sought to make a remarkable impact with its annual Cadbury Secret Santa campaign, driven by a unique concept centred around secretly sending chocolates to a special someone. 

The essence of Cadbury Secret Santa lies in the special act of generosity, where gifts are sent without expecting gratitude.


The Project

Chocolate is more than just a confection, it’s a moment of pure joy that can transform an ordinary day into something extraordinary.

The primary objective of the campaign was to instill a sense of warmth and connection during the Christmas season, urging shoppers to proudly embrace Cadbury as their gift of choice and share in the joy of the occasion, all whilst driving engagement for the Cadbury Secret Santa campaign.


The Innovative Approach

During the Christmas season, it’s crucial not just to aim for attention but to make it a necessity. By leveraging our distinctive network of local radio stations, our aim was to raise Cadbury Secret Santa to unparalleled levels of awareness and interaction with consumers.

Our idea focused on elevating the feeling of joy in towns and villages across Ireland, and IRS+ was the perfect local activation partner to the Cadbury Secret Santa campaign. 

Critical to the success of the campaign was awareness, and in this case, the conventional channel of TV proved insufficient. The challenge was to captivate and involve the audience while making it as easy as possible to participate.

Employing three highly effective creative tools exclusive to the IRS+ network, the goal was to sustain awareness and engagement throughout the campaign.

  1. Local voice: Customised ad copy, recorded by each station in a local tone of voice.
  2. On-air promotion: DJ-led promotions to enhance engagement, local relevance, and awareness of OOH (Out-of-Home) mechanics.
  3. Social: Utilising local OOH placement through the relevant station to drive local relevance and awareness of the OOH mechanic.


The Impressive Outcomes

We started with localising the existing UK Cadbury Secret Santa radio ad, with each IRS+ station re-recording the ad in a local tone specific to its area. This approach facilitated engagement with consumers in a relevant manner, using ads recorded in familiar local accents. The local voice ad ran on each station for two weeks in November – 14 prime time spots per station.

A targeted Facebook campaign was then executed across all 15 stations, reaching nearly 400,000 people with over 22,000 clicks on the ads.

To further engage the audience with the concept and mechanic of Cadbury Secret Santa, a weeklong promotion was conducted on all 15 IRS+ stations. The mechanic aligned with the campaign’s premise of generosity and secrecy. We simply asked listeners: 

Tell us why you want to send chocolate secretly to someone special this year, why do they deserve it?  What good reason do you have to send a Cadbury secret Santa bar? Tell us about someone in your life who deserves your Secret Santa bar this year- but remember to keep it a secret​.

And here are some of the heart-warming answers:

“I would like to nominate my best friend. She has always been there especially through a recent illness. She was kind and supportive. She is like my guardian angel and I know we will be friends forever. I am blessed to have her in my life.”

“I’d love to send a Secret Santa bar to my best friend from Primary School, she has been there for me ever since and has been a great support during some difficult times. She’s also a big fan of Cadbury chocolate!”

“My neighbour deserves some nice Cadbury chocolate to cheer her up, her mum passed away two weeks ago and this would put a smile on her face.”

“Our mum is amazing. No words could say how much we love her and how she always puts everyone before herself.”

“I’d like to give a Secret Santa Chocolate gift to my aunt Michelle who’s always giving me a lift no matter where I’m going.”


Here are some of the key takeaways:

We ran the campaign across all 15 stations across the IRS+ network and here are the results:


Targeted Facebook campaigns:

  • Reached nearly 400,000 people and had over 22,000 clicks.


Radio campaign results:

  • Target Population 28%​
  • GRP’s 192​
  • Audience 815,000​
  • Gross Impacts 5,446​
  • Average Freq 6.8


Talking about the team in IRS+, Sandrine Dahmani, Junior Brand Manager at Cadbury, said: 

“Working with the IRS+ team was a real pleasure. Their enthusiasm and professionalism made it very easy to collaborate on this project. Cadbury is at the heart of the Christmas Season and with our Cadbury Secret Santa campaign we wanted to spread generosity across the country. IRS+ helped us to ensure that our generosity message was delivered to every corner of Ireland, spreading the true meaning of Christmas. By creating this plan with local adaptations, the IRS+ team showed that they understood the spirit of the brand and the campaign and went above and beyond to make sure that every details was thought of.”


Talking about the team in IRS+, Gemma Gilmore, Board Director at Spark Foundry, part of Core said: 

“The IRS+ team’s professionalism and quick turnaround for this campaign was excellent. Their collaboration with Foe seamlessly blended expertise and innovation to capture the true essence of our Cadbury Secret Santa campaign. Together, they helped to bring our client’s campaign to life with their local, Irish voices. We know this local approach resonates with consumers across Ireland and delivers on a key advertising metric – consumer attention.”

Latest Articles