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Marabou Aladdin Chocolates ‘Save Christmas’ PR campaign

Marabou Aladdin Chocolates ‘Save Christmas’ PR campaign

Best practice from Prime PR Stockholm, Sweden.

Summary

The Aladdin box is a box of chocolates that has been around for 70 years in Swedish homes. It is well known and appreciated but has changed so much in both appearance and content that it has lost its traditional values and magic.

For Christmas 2009 a new praline was about to enter the box, but instead of talking about the new chocolate, we decided to focus on the praline that would have to leave to make room for it. We converted the communication into a question of democracy by letting the people’s votes decide which praline that would have to go.

In only four weeks, the campaign caught nationwide interest resulting in 400,000 votes (approx 5% of the Swedish population), a media coverage of 33 Million, the fourth fastest growing Facebook application in the world, 15,000 fans of the campaign, 300 blog posts etc.

Sales went up by 26,5 percent, Aladdin’s market share increased by 2,8 percent and we got an revenue increase of 44 percent during this period. The Aladdin box was the biggest topic around Christmas 2009 in Sweden, so yes - people did definitely strengthen their relation to the chocolate box!

Background

For the last 70 years, the Aladdin chocolate box has been a Christmas classic in Swedish homes, and 4 million boxes are sold each year. Aladdin is not only a box of chocolates, a whole imaginary world surrounds the product with many rules and rituals linked to it.

Even though the brand is well known and appreciated, it has changed so much in appearance and content that it has lost its traditional values and magic. Many consumers consider Aladdin as dated and out of fashion. So, the challenge was to refresh the brand and, at the same time, affirm and stay true to its roots and traditional values.

The Brief

The objective was to engage consumers in Aladdin as a brand and make it known that Aladdin is worthy of a place on the Christmas table. Aladdin also wanted their target group, a family with younger children, to encounter and interact with the brand through new channels and in a new context that they were not used to. So how could we get an entire country to talk about a box of chocolate that has been around for 70 years?

Strategy


While many think that the brand Aladdin has changed too much, we discovered early that there are many strong rituals connected to the box and the pralines. These rituals, and the relationship people have with the pralines, provided the foundation for the programme. We used the 'love and hate' people have for their pralines and created a competition.

In Christmas 2010, a new praline will be introduced in the Aladdin box. But instead of talking about the new praline, we decided, in true reality TV-style, to focus on the chocolate that would have to leave to make room for the new.

To engage and involve chocolate loving Swedes in the campaign, we decided to give the Swedish people the chance to defend and stand up for their favorite chocolate. Through the campaign “Save Christmas”, we converted the communication into a question of democracy by letting the people’s votes decide which praline would have to leave.

Execution

A digital polling station was created on a campaign site, where Swedes got the chance to make their voice heard, four weeks prior to Christmas. The largest tabloid in Sweden, Aftonbladet, received information in advance about the campaign and the final loser. Bloggers and lovers/haters of each of the pralines were also contacted before the launch in order to start the debate.

A fan page on Facebook was created in order to mobilize fans and create forums for discussion. To strengthen the bond between chocolate lovers and their favorite piece in the box, we personalized every praline in Aladdin. By using an application on Facebook, users received a humorous personality analysis based on their favorite praline.

A competition was also initiated between chocolate fans for the one who ran best campaign to save their favorite. Open campaign material was easy to download and as the competition grew we published the best campaigns on a blog to inspire others.

Results

The fans turned out to be truly loyal to their favorite pralines - films, posters, groups on Facebook, fan pages, T-shirts and blogs dedicated to specific pralines were created. In four weeks, the campaign resulted in over 380,000 votes, more than 15,000 people became fans of the campaign and 300 bloggers wrote about it.

Over 140,000 people took the praline test on Facebook and the application was number four on the list of the fastest growing applications in the world. Even in the light of heavy competition from new praline competitors in store, during the Christmas period sales increased with 26.5 percent compared to last year.

The campaign resulted in a reach of over 33 Million and Aladdin’s market share increased with 2.8% and we got a revenue increase with 44% during this period. As it turned out, the pralines in the Aladdin box received more votes than the most voted-for politician in the 2009 Swedish election for the European Parliament. Another win for democracy!

AJR
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