Cadbury takes a stand against racism with Symbol For All

The inspiration came from years of managing hate-fuelled sentiment on the brand’s Facebook page

Cadbury is the latest brand to take a stand for something positive, with the launch of a new initiative to fight racism and other forms of intolerance.

Following in the footsteps of Gillette and Nike among others, Cadbury's latest 'Symbol for all' campaign is aimed at making a positive impact on society, something consumers are increasingly demanding, particularly the younger demographics.

Multiple studies show consumers reward authentic brands that have a positive purpose. Sixty-four per cent of people in the 2018 Earned Brand study by Edelman US said they are buying from or boycotting brands based on the company's stance on a social or political issues. More than half (53 per cent) said brands can do more to solve issues than governments can.

Similarly, in a recent Sprout Social study, two-thirds of consumers (66 per cent) say it’s important for brands to take public stands on social and political issues. According to WE Communications’ Brands in Motion 2018 study, three-quarters of consumers (74 per cent) around the globe expect brands to take a stand on important issues, up four per cent on 2017.

Cadbury said the inspiration for 'Symbol for all', came from years of managing hate-fuelled sentiment on the brand’s Facebook page. Late last year, Cadbury made the decision to create a visual expression to respond to all those negative comments in a unique and impactful way.

Together with eight designers, an anthropologist and project manager from different cultural backgrounds, Cadbury’s Symbol For All, has been created for any person, organisation or company to customise and use to express their support for a more respectful and culturally inclusive society. The result is a symbol designed to transcend all languages, cultures and faiths.

Symbol For All was originally intended to be shared via Cadbury’s Facebook page on Harmony Day (21 March), the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

However, in consultation with the appropriate organisations in both Australia and New Zealand, the decision was made to delay out of respect following the terror attacks.

“Every single day, Cadbury’s Australian Facebook page is flooded with hateful messages and comments that have nothing to do with chocolate and everything to do racist sentiment. As an iconic brand in Australia we have a voice and a responsibility to lead by example, which has been the impetus for the creation of this symbol,” says Paul Chatfield, Mondelēz International’s director of marketing, chocolate.

“By responding to these comments with positivity, we’re demonstrating an unwavering commitment to inclusivity, and encouraging others to find the ‘glass and half in everyone’.

“We invite anyone who wants to show their support for a diverse and inclusive Australia to join us in sharing the symbol by downloading it, customising it, and sharing it on their own channels,” Chatfield said.

In an interview with CMO late last year, Chatfield said demonstrating legitimacy and credibility is arguably even more important at a time where consumers are experiencing lots of change.

“There are lots of new brands out there that don’t have the heritage or stand for a lot either,” he said.

“When you have such iconic brands with levels of trust, connection, love and equity, building on where you have been and how Australians and Kiwis see you can only be of benefit. It’s strengthening in a world where there is increasing concern and a questioning of who I can trust.”

The project, undertaken by Ogilvy Melbourne, part of WPP AUNZ, aims to show what Cadbury truly stands for by creating a universal symbol of unity.

“As we looked into this project we realised there’s a symbol for almost everything and everybody. But there wasn’t a Symbol For All. As more and more things set out to divide in this world, we found no better way to demonstrate the world should truly be for everyone. Our symbol is a solution, a response and a brand statement, all rolled into one,” said David Ponce de Leon, executive creative director, Ogilvy Melbourne.

Anthropologist, Dr Marilyn Metta, said it was humbling to be a part of a project with such positive intention.

“I know that all of the designers and experts involved in this project share the sentiment that it was an honour to be engaged in an initiative that exists to create a positive impact on our broader community.

“It was a saddening shock to everyone that on the second day into the project the Christchurch terror attack unfolded. From that moment on we had even more resolve to find a visual symbol that would show that there’s more that unites us than sets us apart.”

Throughout the design process Cadbury also consulted with a range of organisations which support and advocate for a diverse and inclusive Australia, including The Australian Multicultural Foundation and Inclusive Australia.

Symbol For All is now available online for anyone to download, customise and share. Share the symbol with #ForAll to show support for respect and inclusiveness.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu 

 

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