Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

From white flags to purple flags: How did this chocolate brand become a symbol of generosity in 2021? [Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

October 6, 2022

Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.

A Note from Miles Everson:

I love Guerrilla Marketing!

According to Jay Conrad Levinson, this marketing strategy is unconventional, engaging, impactful, and easy to execute. Campaigns of this type easily stick to consumers’ minds.

Personally, I enjoy reading about these marketing tactics because they’re fun and interesting. They remind me that promoting one’s brand doesn’t always have to be traditional, serious, or formal.

Let’s talk about a kindness-inducing guerrilla marketing campaign in today’s article.

Continue reading to find out how one chocolate brand incorporated its corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts with a marketing strategy to produce a generous campaign.

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing

Cadbury is a multinational confectionery brand owned by Mondelēz International since 2010. The brand is headquartered in Buckinghamshire, England, and operates in over 50 countries worldwide.

You’ve probably tasted some of Cadbury’s products—Dairy Milk, Creme Egg, Wispa, Boost, Roses, and more!

As one of the best-known and well-loved British chocolate brands, Cadbury is part of Britain’s most successful exports.

“A Glass and A Half in Everyone”

Are you familiar with the history of Cadbury Dairy Milk’s famous logo?

The iconic “glass and a half” logo was initially created in 1928, reflecting the amount of milk used in a Cadbury’s chocolate recipe.

Yes, the brand’s confectioneries are literally made with a glass and a half of milk!

Then, as the business landscape evolved, the logo’s symbolism evolved as well. From a simple denotation, the “glass and a half” imagery became globally recognized and associated with friendly connotations of KINDNESS and GIVING.

Think about the boxes or packs of Cadbury favorites you brought and shared during gatherings with family and friends!

Since then, the statement, “There’s a glass and a half in everyone,” was used to imply there’s kindness in everyone, regardless of whether or not they know it.

The KINDNESS Initiative

As a brand that believes in everyone’s kindness, Cadbury is known for creating marketing campaigns and strategies that highlight generosity.

In fact, we’ve written about one of the brand’s guerrilla marketing strategies in a past “Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing” article. You may read about it here!

Today, we’ll feature another one of the brand’s heartwarming and inspiring guerrilla marketing campaigns. It’s called…

“Flags of Generosity!”

We’re all aware of how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the whole world. Businesses and individuals alike took a hit at the onset of the global health crisis—some lost their jobs, and some businesses declared bankruptcy.

Lockdowns were also implemented in many countries to try to contain the spread of the virus.

… and while there’s no denying that the pandemic took a toll on different countries in different ways, one of the places badly affected was Malaysia.

In July 2021, after a year of repeated lockdowns, thousands of Malaysians were left without food, money, and work. These low-income families started displaying white flags in front of their houses to indicate they need assistance.

Thankfully, that wasn’t the end of the story…

As white flags became a symbol for those who needed help, another color started to appear:


Cadbury responded to Malaysians’ cry for help by creating flags in its iconic shade of purple—this time, to symbolize those who wanted to help and donate goods.

Once created, the purple flags were distributed on-ground and in supermarkets, with a note and instruction to those who were willing to share their blessings with others.

Similar to what white flag owners did, owners of the purple flag displayed their emblems in front of their houses to indicate their willingness to donate goods.

The next thing they did?

They visited Cadbury’s “Flags of Generosity” website and pinned their location! Through that, Cadbury could easily go to their houses and collect their donations.

Note: The “Flags of Generosity” campaign was open to all Malaysians—meaning, a physical purple flag wasn’t a prerequisite for someone to join the initiative. Even if they don’t have a flag, they could still visit Cadbury’s campaign website and pin their location.

According to Cadbury, the more people involved in the campaign, the better! That meant more low-income households were reached.

The donations consisted of basic necessities such as food, water, clothes, medicines, etc. Once the goods were collected, Cadbury’s team passed on the items to families with white flags.

Was Cadbury’s “Flags of Generosity” campaign effective?

The campaign lasted until the end of 2021 and revealed Malaysians’ true colors. Thousands flew the purple flag and came forward to help. As a result, citizens survived the pandemic TOGETHER.

Here are the results of the campaign:

  • During the campaign, the “Flags of Generosity” reached over 260 million people in Malaysia, both online and offline. Cadbury also became a trending topic in various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  • More than 2,000 low-income families received aid through the “Flags of Generosity” campaign.
  • Cadbury bagged the following awards:-1 Gold Lion and 2 Shortlists at the 2022 Cannes Lions Awards-3 Shortlists at the 2022 D&AD Awards-3 Merit Awards and 5 Shortlists at the One Show 2022 Awards-2 Bronze Awards, 5 Crystal Awards, and 2 Shortlists at the 2022 Ad Stars Awards Night
  • 1 Gold Lion and 2 Shortlists at the 2022 Cannes Lions Awards
  • 3 Shortlists at the 2022 D&AD Awards
  • 3 Merit Awards and 5 Shortlists at the One Show 2022 Awards
  • 2 Bronze Awards, 5 Crystal Awards, and 2 Shortlists at the 2022 Ad Stars Awards Night

Clearly, these results supported Cadbury’s belief that there’s kindness in everyone, and that they have a “glass and a half” to share with others, especially those in need.

Good job, Cadbury!

If there’s one thing you can learn from the brand’s guerrilla marketing campaign, it’s that marketing is not all about—or always about—promoting an offering for a brand’s advantage alone.

In fact, effective marketing is one that not only compels customers to buy a certain product or service but also lets them know what’s in it for them.

Let’s look at this in the case of Cadbury’s “Flags of Generosity” campaign…

In a time when white flags symbolized distress for some Malaysians, Cadbury turned its shade of purple into a color of generosity. The brand didn’t even have to include its products in the donation packages.

Instead, it served as the bridge between those who needed help and those who wanted to help, proving that even in a lockdown, generosity could be found.

Get inspired with today’s guerrilla marketing feature!

Be a brand that operates with a purpose… and like Cadbury, plan your own marketing strategies that reflect your brand’s core values and leave a lasting, positive impact on your target market’s lives.

Go and bring out your brand’s “glass and a half” of kindness too!

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”

Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”

Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.

Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers, and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.

Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.

This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.

It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).

Guerrilla Marketing can be inexpensive.

The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.

This is every business’ or brand’s dream!

Every Thursday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.

Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.

Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.

Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Thursday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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