Targeting nostalgic adults, '80s icon Jason Donovan stars in Cadbury 's U.K. launch ad for Darkmilk

Ads by VCCP aimed at 'grown up' chocolate lovers also feature singer Kim Wilde

Published On
Apr 29, 2019

Editor's Pick

You might not recognize the stars of Cadbury's campaign for its first major new chocolate launch in 20 years: but that's a sign that they're not aimed at you.

The brand is relying on 1980s nostalgia to target "grown-up" chocolate lovers with the U.K. debut of its new chocolate bar variant, Darkmilk. TV ads, created by VCCP, star Jason Donovan, the '80s pop singer and star of Australian soap "Neighbours" who was huge in the U.K., as well as Kim Wilde, the singer known for her hit "Kids in America." Donovan's ad in particular contains several pop-culture references that only '80s kids will appreciate—such as his duet with Kylie Minogue, "Especially for You," and his dog being named "Bouncer" just like the "Neighbours" pooch.

Accompanying the TV ads, which were directed by Vince Squibb at Academy, will be a series of shorter films for digital and social media channels, using "behind the scenes" footage from the TV shoot, and showing crew staff in their teens and 20s spectacularly failing to recognize Donovan.

The point of the ads is to signal that Cadbury's Darkmilk, which is made with 40 percent cocoa, will appeal more to adults than to kids. The launch is the biggest in 20 years for the iconic chocolate brand and also includes a PR campaign by Golin and sampling of over five million chocolate bars.

Cadbury's Category Director of Chocolate for

Northern Europe Peter Seymour, says in a statement, “We know our audience are looking for a new and more grown up taste when it comes to chocolate so we’ve introduced Cadbury Darkmilk to give a rich and creamy alternative for a delicious chocolate treat. To match this, our films bring our grown up audience face to face with iconic stars of their younger years who are sharing some of those classic memories that brought us all together back in the day.”

“Darkmilk is for people who remember recording the top 40 on cassette and wearing Naf Naf jeans," add Chris Birch and Jonny Parker, creative directors, VCCP. "So we thought it’d be brilliant to use the people they used to have on their bedroom wall to introduce Darkmilk to them–now that they’re all grown up and that.”



Apr 29, 2019
Client :
Cadbury Darkmilk
Agency :
PR Agency :
Business Director :
Matt Smith
Senior Account Manager :
Catherine Tilley
Category Director of Chocolate for Northern Europe :
Peter Seymour
Global Brand Director :
Ben Wicks
Associate Marketing Director :
Benazir Barlet-Batada
Marketing Manager :
Kate Wall
Brand Manager :
Laura Gray
Creative Director :
Chris Birch
Creative Director :
Jonathan Parker
Talent Broker :
The Bourne Consultancy
Copywriter :
Peter Reid

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