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The prospect of going into a Czech grocery store is, for me, daunting at best.

It would be like walking into my bedroom and finding all of my possessions replaced by strange furniture and unfamiliar objects. What is Pribináček yogurt and how do I order turkey in kilograms? Where is the cookie dough and why can’t I find milk that isn’t room temperature? This has been one of the biggest culture shocks for me since beginning my study-abroad semester. I’m constantly pining for my American favorites like Dunkin Donuts pumpkin iced coffee and almond butter. What is a world with only three varieties of salsa? Mom, can you ship me a quality roll of sushi with extra ginger from my favorite place? The foods and tastes I miss have been piling up, but they’re not piled nearly as high as the stack of Milka bars I’m bringing home to avoid withdrawal.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Vox Efx.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Vox Efx.

Milka is a brand of chocolate prevalent throughout Europe. My eyes scan for the distinctive purple packaging in every potraviny and grocery store. I’ve tried almost all varieties, from hazlenut to raspberry yogurt. Europe’s number one chocolate brand leaves me ashamed to have ever consumed a Hershey’s bar. There is just no comparison to the perfection that is Milka chocolate.

I was first introduced to it by my cousin on a trip to Spain several years ago. She excitedly informed me that it was one of her favorite presents to receive from abroad. Now that I am living in Europe, I don’t think I have been able to last a week without buying a bar. Obviously, I have my cousin’s Christmas present under control. I recently learned through their new campaign, though, that I may be able to send this present sooner than expected.

Milka has made a bold move that aims to unite loved ones around the world by putting to action their slogan, “Dare to be tender”. In each new bar of chocolate there will be one square missing. Alternatively, there will be a code on the inside of the packaging. Consumers can go onto this microsite and enter their code in order to redeem their missing square. They can either request it for themselves or send the chocolate square along with a loving message in the mail to anyone they want. More than ten million chocolate bars have been produced and distributed throughout France and Germany.

I think that this is a genius approach to initiating media involvement and connecting consumers across borders. Milka is encouraging communication and human interaction, even if in the form of a small chocolate square and a heartfelt message. The brand plans to further promote their campaign through television and online videos. Their first video about the project went viral and mailboxes around the world are starting to fill up with this delicious European chocolate. All of the manufacturing has been laboriously reworked to create these incomplete bars. Clearly, something other than creative advertising is at work here. The new process enables people to connect as they can do so easily through social media nowadays. It is simple to send a quick hello or thoughtful message, but sometimes people are given the opportunity to take it a step further. The sending of chocolate is such a wonderfully unique element.

I am impressed that Milka managed to balance their online component with a more dated method of communication, the postal service. I think it’s effective because it brings us back to more primitive interaction with the added convenience of an online process. My cousin may not be able to send me an iced coffee, but I can send her a square of my Milka bar when I visit Paris. I know she’ll open it and appreciate the connection and thought more than the average Facebook message.

Milka’s campaign gives the brand the potential to become universal and it offers consumers the opportunity to connect.

I hope I’ll be buying incomplete Milka bars in Prague soon! They would justifiably replace Pribináček yogurt. I still don’t know what that is.

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One thought on “Send a Square, Not a Snapchat

  1. I enjoyed reading this post for two main reasons: being able to relate to the struggles of grocery shopping and a deep passion for chocolate. I still think back to my first grocery shop and proceeding to burst into tears at the Tesco Albert because I could not keep up with the fast pace, Czech-speaking check out process… not to mention the horrible mistake of not knowing about the need to bring your own grocery bags! Talk about mental breakdown and total embarrassment. As a fellow chocolate lover (but actually it’s the first thing I eat every morning), it’s interesting to read about the creative and successful advertising campaigns from Milka chocolate. I, too, am a huge Milka chocolate fan – the hazelnut bar is my favorite. Like Milka, Lindt chocolate is a huge seller in Europe, as a Swiss and German brand. Lucky me, when I visited my godmother last weekend in Germany, I had the opportunity to visit the Lindt Chocolate Museum. It was mouth watering, literally. Did you know chocolate used to only be sold as a luxury? As such a large company, Lindt has been very successful, particularly in Germany and Switzerland. Germany consumes the most chocolate with Switzerland a close second. What is interesting, however, is that much of their advertising seems to be more traditional and less on social media. Throughout the city, you could find Christmas Lindt chocolate advertisements because who wouldn’t want chocolate on Christmas?! In fact, Christmas time is one of the most successful periods for Lindt chocolate in terms of advertising. That being said, the company does not seem to be very active on social media. When looking for their twitter account, the only official user account was a USA Lindt chocolate account, which seems odd because it’s a German and Swiss brand. Maybe they haven’t quite mastered the social media platforms, or maybe since they are such a successful company, they do not feel the need to create a campaign over social media to increase revenue. However, according to “4ps Marketing,” Lindt is moving forward in advertisements and making a greater presence on social media to increase revenue. That being said, maybe in light of the holidays we’ll see more of Lindt on social media! The chocolate everywhere and the Christmas ads convinced me to the extent that I came home from Germany with a giant Lindt chocolate advent calendar – so large it didn’t fit in my suitcase. You’ll find Lindt chocolate (among many other brands) at almost every Christmas market, and it’s almost inevitable that all the big department stores will have an entire Christmas section sprinkled with Lindt advent calendars and gifts. YUM!

    Website reference: http://www.4psmarketing.com/our-expertise/food-and-drink/lindt-chocolate/

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