elise burditt

marketer of the week

The marketer behind the purple bars: Cadbury's Elise Burditt

The senior marketing director has been successfully building brands at Mondelez for over ten years - now she's the driving force behind Cadbury's 200th anniversary campaign

By conor nichols

Few marketing tasks can be as exciting but daunting than helping your brand mark its 200 years in business.

And when your brand is not only one of the nation's best loved but it's also woven into the very fabric of the country's socio economic history, then the opportunities and expectations are even higher.

Elise Burditt is the marketer taking on that challenge for Cadbury this year - and with her agency VCCP she's just kicked off the anniversary year with a bang.

Cadbury is marking its bicentennial by reviving its much-loved and acclaimed ‘Mum’s Birthday’ spot that originally aired in 2018. Created with VCCP, the 'Yours for 200 Years' campaign reveals a fresh take on the little girl attempting to buy her mother a chocolate bar, with the setting subtly changing, displaying society throughout the years.

The original cast and director Frederic Planchon worked with VCCP’s global content creation studio Girl&Bear to recreate the scene between the shopkeeper and the girl (who is now five years older than when the first ad was released). Body doubles and post-production techniques were used to ensure a successful and emotional reboot of the classic ad. Not only this, but OOH and social aspects of the campaign also included real-life photos of families enjoying Cadbury bars across the years, with the brand ultimately seeking to champion the British public.

Burditt is no stranger to big campaigns at Cadbury's parent Mondolez; she's been helping build brands at the business for over a decade. As it happens, she celebrated 10 years of working for the business by securing a promotion to senior marketing director of confectionery six months ago. During her time at the company she’s helped form and drive campaigns for Cadbury Brunch Bars, Fingers, TimeOut, Oreo and more.

Before that she was director of the biscuits and baked goods faction for over two years, during which she helped deliver Cadbury’s highest ever market share in biscuits.

With the confectionary portfolio now added to her CV, Burditt's in no doubt that Cadbury's anniversary is already a career highlight. "It’s a privilege to celebrate this milestone," she says. “It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to celebrate a 200th anniversary! But for us this is so much more than that. It’s celebrating 200 years of being part of the lives of the British public and recognising that we wouldn’t be here today without them.”

For an American who's only been operating in the UK market for less than five years, Burditt has got properly under the skin of UK consumers and really knows her market. But her route into the marketing profession wasn't a straight one. She spent the first four years of her professional life working for the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, speech writing and co-ordinating political strategy. Far from a typical start to life as a marketer, the experience did however give her a superb grounding in communications, leadership, strategic vision and the art of influencing.

Burditt brings a clear-eyed but empathetic sensibility to the marketing role at Cadbury and it's no accident that she was trusted with handling the landmark celebrations. But she's quick to credit Cadbury's global agency of record VCCP London for its role in re-energising the brand, not least through the series of powerful and emotionally-led campaigns such as ‘Speakerphone’ and ‘Garage’.

The ‘Yours for 200 Years’ campaign could not have come to life without the brilliant partnership between Cadbury and VCCP Burditt says. “Collectively we feel a great amount of privilege and responsibility for looking after a brand with such a long history and meaning to people in the UK, and this campaign reflects that – turning the lens back on the people who have made us what we are today and also looking ahead to leaving a legacy for the future.”

Burditt is “incredibly proud” to share the campaign with the nation. “The teams have been collaborating on this idea for over a year and working incredibly hard hand-in-hand to bring this powerful idea to life in the most impactful way.”

Matt Smith, managing partner at VCCP, added: "We've been lucky enough to work with Elise for many years on a whole range of campaigns and you can always see her stamp on the work. Strategically sound, creatively brave and like all of our Mondelez clients, a partner in the truest sense of the word. The Yours for 200 Years is the latest in a series of great work we've made with Cadbury and a campaign we're very proud of."

Now she's fully in her stride at Cadbury, it will be interesting to see what else this consummate marketer has in store for us this year and beyond.


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