‘You won’t see me posting pics of myself eating blocks of chocolate’ says new Cadbury Olympic brand ambassador Anna Meares

Sally Pearson, left, and Anna Meares

Sally Pearson, left, and Anna Meares

Cadbury has spoken of the importance of sponsorship to its marketing mix as Olympic champion Anna Meares told Mumbrella she will look to educate families of the need to maintain a healthy diet in her role to promote the chocolate brand.

The gold medal winning cyclist was yesterday named as brand ambassador for Cadbury, along with 100m hurdle champion Sally Pearson.

Both will become the faces of the chocolate brand in the lead up to the Rio Olympics in 2016 with Cadbury set to launch a campaign in January under the banner of “Bring on the Joy”.

Their involvement forms part of Mondelez’s sponsorship of the Australian Olympic team, a deal which came under fire from health groups when it was announced last month.

Meares acknowledged she could see the argument that sport and chocolate were not a natural fit but added “there are two sides to every coin”.

“Some people’s outlooks can be tainted in some capacity and you need to look at this in the context of how we are aligning with Cadbury and why,” she said.

“This is not about telling people to eat lots and lots of chocolate. It’s telling people to treat yourself, to enjoy the moment. I think Sally and I are great representatives of the Olympic team to be ambassadors for Cadbury. We can demonstrate that you can lead a healthy lifestyle and be active but that you can incorporate treats for yourself, in moderation.”

Meares added:  “I am not the sort of ambassador who is going to post pictures of myself eating block after block of chocolate. I am going to be the sort of ambassador who has just spent eight hours training for an Olympic campaign and I am going to treat myself because I have earned it.

“It is about portion control and allowing yourself a treat every now and then.”

Meares, who will be competing in her fourth Olympics in Rio, insisted she is careful which brands she aligns with, revealing she has walked away from several lucrative offers “because the fit wasn’t right”.

She said Cadbury demonstrates “professionalism”, is responsible in its marketing, has a connection with the public and a strong Australian history.

“I have turned away numerous companies because they don’t align with who I am as a person or have the qualities and values that I uphold,” Meares said.

One brand in particular – which Meares declined to identify – offered “a lot of money”.

“But it was a product that I did not believe in. I was uncomfortable,” she said.

Lauren Fildes

Lauren Fildes

Cadbury head of strategic partnerships and events, Lauren Fildes, said it was important for the brand to find athletes who were inspirational, humble and had a “passion to succeed in a non egotistical way”.

Such characteristics appeal to mums, its core target market, she said.

“Sally and Anna are great role models,” Fildes said.

Aligning with a celebrity simply because they have a public profile will not work, she added.

“It could go wrong is people don’t believe in it. It is so important to get the right fit. There must be a belief that the two go together in the right way and as a marketer you ultimately know when it feels right.”

Asked whether it was “right fit” for elite Olympians to be associated with selling chocolate, she said: “We think it is a really good fit. We communicate a balanced and healthy diet along with an active lifestyle and we believe this sponsorship of the Olympic team as well as working with our two ambassadors, demonstrates that you need to have a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, but that you can also enjoy a treat.

“Everything needs to be consumed in moderation and the sponsorship with the AOC and with Anna and Sally demonstrate that.

“They both take great care of their bodies and are great advocates for health and well-being but both would also say they enjoy a treat every now and again.”

Fildes acknowledged that Australia has an obesity problem and as a chocolate brand “we have our role to play to educate Australians”.

“We are part of the Be Treat Wise campaign that educates people on the requirements of a daily intake of fats and sugars, carbohydrates and protein,” she said, adding that Cadbury has a strict policy of not advertising to children.

Fildes said Mondelez’s partnership with the Olympic team, and Cadbury’s association with Meares and Pearson, is in line with the brand’s three-year strategy of marketing through sponsorship.

Cadbury was among the broadcast sponsors of TV talent show The Voice earlier this year, with one of the judges, Jessie J, its brand ambassador.

Such sponsorship deals have become “reinvigorated” in recent times and are integrated with overall brand campaigns, Fildes said.

“Sponsorship is a major pillar of our marketing. Doing the right sponsorship allows you to remain relevant to the things that are happening at any given time,” said explained. “It means you are not just communicating the same message year-round but communicating different messages against events that are topical.

“We’ll be using Anna and Sally in myriad ways to communicate the ‘bring on the joy’ message in the lead up to Rio and will have a fully integrated campaign that will kick off in January.”

Steve Jones


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