August 25th: Cadbury Spots V Stripes Challenge Bar

Kcal 205 Fat 11.7g Fat(sats) 7.2g Carbs 22.5g

If you have been watching UK TV recently it is likely you will at some point have come across the latest Cadbury advertising for their new Spots V Stripes challenge campaign (See HERE). To cut a very (very!!) long winded story short, Cadbury have an ambitious two year plan to "split the nation into two teams - Spots & Stripes", with the ultimate aim of "keeping consumers immersed in game play in the lead up to the London 2012 Olympic Games", which Cadbury just so happen to be partnering. The basic idea is that consumers choose to either be a fan of the Spots team, or the Stripes team, and then play against each other for points which they register on the Spots V Stripes website (HERE). I have probably explained the concept pretty poorly so so if you wish to see more information I would suggest looking at this press release HERE. What I hope you are all more interested in, is the fact that Cadbury have launched a new bar to go alongside this campaign idea - the Cadbury Spots V Stripes Challenge Bar.

The product I sampled for this review today was sent to me by Lis at Foodstufffinds (review HERE - Thanks again!) and it came 39.0g bar that was divided in to three blocks. The idea is that you and a friend share the bar, eating your respective Spots/Stripes block each, before then playing a 'game' which is detailed on the inside of the wrapper (mine was eye-spy), with the 'winner' receiving the final middle piece. I will happily admit that the idea is all rather nice, but part of me couldn't help but feel it was an awful lot of fuss for what was fundamentally just a chocolate bar. On the positive side I was far more welcoming of the aesthetic appeal of the packaging and the actual chocolate, as I thought both lived up to Cadbury's usual high standards and were well designed and appealing on the eye. In addition, the bar also smelt pretty appetising with the familiar Dairy Milk scents fully showcased as soon as soon the matted foil wrapper was zipped open.

Unusually for me I have managed to write two paragraphs without actually telling you the product proposition - 'Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate & Cadbury creamy white chocolate'. Speaking openly and frankly, the first half of the product description filled with me glee, whilst the last bit brought back many an unnerving memory of my Cadbury Dream chocolate review a few years ago. There have been many times on this website when my preconceived thoughts about a product have been gone on to be disproved, but this wasn't to be the case here. Thankfully the Dairy Milk at the base of the product made up 75% of the total constituents so the taste was predominantly made up by the thick melting, delicious cream rooted sweet cocoa flavours of Cadbury's most famous chocolate recipe. Unfortunately placed on the top of each block, the not so great white chocolate only went to further sweeten the taste with it's sugar heavy flavours. Unlike any decent quality white chocolate it didn't enhance the creamy flavours of the taste or bring in any additional flavour notes such as vanilla etc - it was frankly just low quality sugary rubbish. It would be completely over the top of me to suggest that the white chocolate completely spoilt this chocolate bar for me (I still ate the whole thing after all), but at the same time I just simply didn't want it there, and it ultimately did hamper my subsequent levels of enjoyment and satisfaction.

Overall I like Cadbury's ambition to create a campaign that engages with consumers directly, however I think the focus on 'above-the-line' marketing execution has resulted in them releasing a rather lazy product to go alongside it. When I first heard that Cadbury were launching a new bar for this £14 million pound campaign I was instantly excited at the potential of an entirely new proposition. Given the effort put in to the entire Spots V Stripes marketing concept I have to admit I was disappointed when I learnt what was actually in store for us all. Unfortunately this disappointment was only further compounded when I tasted it, upon where I learnt that Cadbury still hadn't sorted out their white chocolate recipe. This Challenge Bar was far from being any sort of disaster due to it mostly comprising of Cadbury's wonderfully tasty Dairy Milk recipe, however for me the white chocolate only detracted from the overall product experience, rendering it a no better than average offering. Speaking as someone who doesn't care that much for the whole Spots V Stripes campaign concept (I concede it might appeal to younger people!), I'm left feeling that this is a missed opportunity for Cadbury, who I think could have really tied in a far stronger product offering. It's not a bad bar of chocolate by any means but I think it will do little to stimulate consumers to repeat purchase. As ever all your thoughts and views are most welcome, please be sure to share them below.

7.2 out of 10