Thank you very much for your e-commerce platform: Cadbury pushes personalised choccies with ‘Roses by You’ site

Mass production still rules the world when it comes to making things. But the rise of 3D printing is seen by some as the third industrial revolution and the combination of digital data-collection and personalised printing has allowed some creative businesses and agencies to add some uniqueness to their products. Now, just in time for Mother’s Day, Cadbury and Young & Shand have embraced that shift and dipped their toes in the e-commerce waters with an online gifting platform called ‘Roses by You‘. 

For years, Cadbury has been trying to convince Kiwis that a box of Roses is the perfect way to say thank you, with DDB NZ giving the old jingle a spruce up last year. But it’s upped the stakes with ‘Roses by You’, which allows gifters to send a personalised box of chocolates to that special someone for $20, including postage (RRP is $16, although there’s plenty of discounting).

Some would argue that being able to send a gift to someone without needing to move your legs takes the inherent laziness of buying Roses as a gift to a new level. But it’s the thought that counts and there is some thought involved here, with punters able to choose the colour, style and design of the box and also enter a personalised message. After the information is input, it sends a PDF to the printers, which print a sleeve that fits around the box. 

As Colenso BBDO’s Neville Doyle wrote recently, agencies and marketers hoping to make the most of the digital and social realm need to facilitate experiences in the real world and help shape their ‘digital sense of self‘, so, as opposed to a digital campaign that floats up then fades away, Cadbury’s e-commerce platform does just that by creating some utility for consumers.

“Allowing people to co-create and personalise their product is the dream project from a digital perspective, and Mother’s Day was a perfect time to trial this with Roses,” says Young & Shand’s Dan Maas. “In development we spend a great deal of time on the UX and in testing to make sure we made it as simple as possible to use. Having the experiential element was the ideal platform to take feedback from literally hundreds of people using it, so we were able to optimise accordingly in the first few days. The ‘web to print’ element required the most consideration, however our fulfilment partners Octane Print provided some slick technology we were able to integrate with.”

The online realm is very good at removing middle-men. And while e-commerce will only make up a tiny sliver of Cadbury’s total revenue (at least for the forseeable future), allowing consumers to buy direct removes some of the need for intermediaries like supermarkets—and also the need for such heavy discounting. Cadbury brand manager Mike Stribrny didn’t want to discuss any of the strategic implications of this project and whether Cadbury was planning on embracing e-commerce more widely until the results from this campaign are in, but Maas says it’s gone very well so far and if the UK’s cadburygiftsdirect.co.uk is any indication, it seems like this could be the first step on a bigger journey.

In a release, Stribrny says “’Roses by You’ makes saying thank you quick, easy and convenient whilst still being heartfelt and original. You can use it for any occasion and the personalised message really makes it meaningful”. 

Speaking of Cadbury, here’s a clip of the recent Jaffa race down Dunedin’s Baldwin St. Perhaps the next brand extension could be a personalised Jaffa—that you can bet on. 

And here’s the latest evolution of Cadbury’s Joyville campaign from Australia.


Digital agency: Young & Shand

Creative Director – Jon Coles

Dan Maas – Account Director

Aoife Murphy – Senior Account Manager

Ryan Overeem – Lead Designer

Izac Hancock – Technical Director

Dan Everts – Developer

Jeremy Prowse – Developer

PR: Beat Communications

Angela Mace, Director

Rebecca McNab, Account Executive

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