Small acts of generosity with Cadbury and VCCP | #BehindTheIdea

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Even the smallest gesture can bring a smile to someone who might need it.

This is the simple, yet powerful idea behind VCCP's latest ad for Cadbury, named 'Bus.' Directed by Academy director Fréderic Planchon, the spot shows a little boy travelling home on the bus with his mum, and a bar of Cadbury Milk he's been told to save for later. Everything changes when the boy spots a teenage girl in tears.

Today we are getting Behind the Idea following a chat with Chris Birch & Jonny Parker – Executive Creative Directors at VCCP.

What was the brief?

To demonstrate the belief that there is generosity in everyone – a glass and a half in everyone if you will. 

How did the initial pitch/brainstorming phase go?

Lonnnnnnnngggg. There are so many different ways of telling stories of generosity. Different people, situations, tensions. We wanted to explore them all so it took a while. Fun though! 

Tell us more about the concept. How did it come to life, and why was it the right choice?

What we loved about Bus was the simplicity. To be fair it doesn’t really have much of a linear story. It’s just 60 seconds of a scene played out. But that allows the film the breathing space it needs to be natural. Also, the truth that we’ve all been in that slightly awkward situation where we don’t quite know what to do. That appealed. 

What was the production process like? What was the biggest challenge?

There was bit of a challenge around whether the girl should take the chocolate or not.  But we felt it was a more confident thing for Cadbury to do to let Finlay have the chocolate to himself. Another challenge would have been getting the nuance of performance but Frederic the director and the cast were superb. 

What is one funny or notable thing that happened during the production of the campaign?

We must have done over 100 laps of this pre-determined route through an estate just outside Glasgow. The bus in front carrying our cast, director, film crew and extras, and then us, agency and clients trailing behind in a mini-van getting a live-feed streamed to us. On lap 98 people were dropping like flies. Like being on a slow waltzer. 

What’s the main message of the campaign and why does it matter?

We’ve always said generosity is out there, it’s just that the bad negative stuff in world can seem to shout a bit louder. So all we’re trying to do is show that there is generosity in everyone. 

What is one unique aspect of the campaign?

Maybe it’s quietness. 

How long did it take from inception to delivery?

Maybe 2 years given Covid and all that malarkey. 

What do you hope it achieves for the brand?

Just getting Cadbury back into the affections of the country really. We’ve all grown up with it. It’s sort of ours. It’s enough for people to feel a warmth towards us. 

Credit list for the campaign?

Ben Wicks: Senior Marketing Director - Confectionery Europe
Colin O’Toole -Associate Director Marketing Cadbury UK&I

Michael Moore - Marketing Manager

CCO: Darren Bailes 
Executive Creative DirectorsChris Birch and Jonny Parker 
Creatives: Joe Lovett and Jack Snell

Integrated Project Director: Jon Dewart

TV Producer: Carly Parris 
Group Managing Director: David Boscawen 
VCCP, Head of Mondelez UK: Matt Smith 
Account Director: Catherine Tilley

Joint Head of Planning: Sophie Kerbegian 
Senior Planner: Hannah Martin 
Media agency: Carat

Production company: Academy Films

Director: Frederic Planchon
DOP: Justin Brown

Producer: Ash Lockmun

Audio Post Production: Jack Sedgwick @ Wave 
Colourist: Jean Clement Soret @ MPC

Post Production: Freefolk


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