Ad Nut
Jun 15, 2022

Does this Cadbury ad reinforce or smash stereotypes?

This new TVC by Ogilvy is said to ‘break ad stereotypes’. Ad Nut may or may not agree.

Cadbury is no stranger to diving into social-led discussions around society and race—as evidenced by this Australia campaign, this India campaign on ‘cancel culture’, or when it launched this ‘unity bar’ to attempt to “stand for diversity”. Some have been hits, some have been misses.

Well, Ad Nut is still trying to figure out which way this new Southeast Asia campaign leans. The brand platform, which promotes “goodness in everyone”, is used here to “reinforce the brand’s ethos of generosity”. Based on a release, the story is anchored in the “universal truth of not judging a book by its cover” and going beyond snap judgements. It’s also said to “break ad stereotypes” in Southeast Asia.

While Ad Nut appreciates the tender moment where the child in the story and the antagonist-turns-protagonist share a laugh at the end, everything that leads up to this moment doesn’t quite sit well with Ad Nut. The film begins with the male character—long-haired, dressed in leather and spikes—being judged with caution by passengers on a bus. It’s filmed and written in a way that expects the audience member to also indulge in this judgement, only to be proven wrong when the male character pulls out a Cadbury chocolate bar.

Ad Nut wonders: Why should people who look and dress this way go out of their way to prove themselves innocent? Would another type of character—say a short-haired white man dressed in a suit—elicit a similar reaction? Amid trying to answer these questions, Ad Nut has a weird feeling in Ad Nut’s stomach that this ad instead reinforces classist stereotypes towards people who like to skew grungy in their style.

But perhaps Ad Nut is in the minority in perceiving the ad this way. Whether you agree or disagree, Ad Nut would love to hear from Ad Nut’s readers.


Client: Mondelēz International, Inc.
Nikhil Rao: VP Marketing, South East Asia
Nikhil Nicholas: Chocolate Category Lead, South East Asia
Stacey Biagtan: Marketing Manager, Cadbury Dairy Milk

Agency: Ogilvy/Singapore
CCO: Nicolas Courant
ACD: Rachel Chew and Sonali Ranjit
Chief Client Officer: Giri Jadhav
Regional Business Director: Kanika Sood
Account Director: Bowie Tong

Production Company: Hanzo Films/Dubai
Director: Johan Stahl
DP: Werner Maritz
Producer: Chippy Babu
Executive Producer: Hijaz Moosa, Gemsheer CC
Offline Studio: BaconX/Copenhagen

Editorial Company: ArtOfficial, CPH
Editor: Jeppe Bødskov

Music: Anton Eger & Johan Stahl
Sound: Reda El-Kheloufi

Grading Studio: Cameo/Copenhagen
Colorist: Lasse Marcussen
Service Production: Biscuit Films/KL
Local Producer: Magen Appathurai, Daniel Wee

Media.Monks Team:
Head of Films APAC: Rebecca So
EP: Zyra Khiruddin
Producer: Thinesh Muniandy
Program Manager: Nigel Pinto

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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