Cadbury’s #CremeEggBake on Google+ Boosts Organic Reach

British candy company Cadbury wanted to generate engagement leading up to Easter, so it teamed up with Google to create a campaign focused on its Crème Egg product. The effort resulted in a fivefold increase in organic reach, as well as a sixfold lift in social actions.

The Cadbury Kitchen Community on Google+ was part of the initiative and invited consumers to “share and discover the most delicious recipes imaginable.” Currently the community has attracted more than 100,000 members.

Cadbury also launched a #CremeEggBake social campaign that asked consumers to submit “names, recipes, images, animations, videos, etc.” of their “most amazing and inspiring recipes which feature Cadbury Creme Eggs” to its Cadbury Cakes and Bakes community using the hashtag #CremeEggBake.

The promotion kicked off in the second week of February when Cadbury posted a call-to-action video with celebrity chef Eric Lanlard, says Natalia Cano, product marketing manager at Google+.

As of April 17, the video has more than 26,000 views. The video also includes notation about the brand’s Google+ community to make it easy for consumers to participate, Cano notes.

The brand baked its “absolute favorites” in a live Hangout with Lanlard on March 4. Cadbury also invited consumers to apply for a chance to take part in the Hangout itself.

Videos from the Hangout were also posted on YouTube.

Lanlard, whose website describes him as an “award-winning master patissier and international baking star,” heads up London’s Cake Boy, which includes a “thriving cookery school alongside a coffee and patissierie lounge.”

A Google rep also notes Lanlard is “one of the most followed chefs on YouTube.” Lanlard has about 650 subscribers.

According to a post in the Cadbury Kitchen, Lanlard previously created a Creme Egg Brownies recipe that has since been used by tens of thousands of people.

More than 150 recipes were submitted in the 2014 #CremeEggBake promotion, she says.

In addition, Cadbury curated a photo album of recipe submissions.

According to Google, Cadbury’s efforts resulted in nearly 8 million views over six weeks. That includes 3 million organic views, 36,000 engagements on Google+, 3,000 comments, 5,000 shares, and 28,000 +1s, per Google’s stats. The #CremeEggBake hashtag was also tweeted more than 3, 000 times.

“We’ve been working closely with Cadbury, which has been on Google+ since it launched nearly three years ago, in a series of Hangouts that have been used in unique ways,” Cano says. “They wanted to do something even bigger and better for Easter and decided the best way was to do something around the Crème Egg, which is one of their star chocolate Easter eggs, and partner with a celebrity chef.”

While Cadbury hasn’t shared where its community members are from, Cano says the brand is popular outside the U.K. and wanted to make the campaign as global as possible.

Cadbury promoted the Crème Egg initiative using a new interactive social ad format called +Posts, which Google says had a 2.5 percent engagement rate.

This format allows the brand to choose the Google+ posts with the highest engagement and turn them into display ads to run across Google Display Network that could be seen while searching the Web and could be +1ed, Cano says.

“That meant conversations [about the #CremeEggBake contest] were not just happening on Google+, but across different sites to promote the Hangout and after the Hangout, an edited version was also promoted through this format,” Cano adds.

Beta trials of +Posts began in December. At that point, a Google rep says Google noted it was planning to roll out +Posts to all advertisers “in the coming months.”

Google says Cadbury also generated excitement through Auto Awesome call-out videos, which resulted in more than 25,000 views. Auto Awesomes allow users to create animated GIFs by stitching together five photos, Cano says.

Cadbury is owned by Mondelēz International.

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