A short rant about the new ads for Cadbury Buttons

Walking through town to my office yesterday morning, I came across an advert on the side of a bus stop that left me feeling a little baffled.

Here it is:

Cadbury Button ad

Now first up, before I start ranting, I want to make it clear that:

  • I think it’s a very sweet and lovely photo
  • I love Cadbury in any form, buttons or otherwise

Right, now that’s clear…

What the actual f**k?

I don’t know about you, but having a small child clamber on me, whilst trying to poke me in the eye with my own glasses, is one of my least favourite things. It is definitely NOT one of those moments where I think ‘Ahhh! This is what having kids is all about! This is better than Cadbury buttons!’ I think back to Belle when she was younger – I would have been more likely thinking ‘Argh! When will I ever be allowed my own personal space? Why can this idiot child not even understand how to put on glasses?!’

I can only assume that the planning for this advertising campaign went something like this:

SCENE: Six 21 year olds sit around a glass table, sipping skinny lattes

1ST 21 YEAR OLD: Guys, we should totally capture the joy of parenting, and give people a warm fuzzy feeling.

2ND 21 YEAR OLD (looks up briefly from SnapChat): Dude, great plan! What exactly ARE the joys of parenting?

3RD 21 YEAR OLD: Err… Those special moments innit? Where your kid is all up in your face?

CHORUS OF 21 YEAR OLDS: Yeah, great brainstorming guys.

Because surely if you actually HAD children, you would understand that having your eye poked out by an overactive toddler is NOT FUN.

Some alternative campaign ideas that spark similar feelings for me:

  • Waiting for ages in a car park for a space and then having some dick in a BMW whizz in front of you
  • Banging your toe really hard against a doorframe
  • Trying to do some work at home and being forced to watch ‘a show’ from your children. Twice.

If Cadbury really want to connect with mums, and create a special, warm feeling, may I suggest the following:

  • Picture of a mum, locked in the bathroom, pretending to do a poo whilst secretly eating buttons and looking at Instagram
  • Picture of a mum, back to the camera, facing an open fridge, pretending that she is considering what to make for dinner but actually snuffling buttons out of an open bag in the fridge door.
  • Picture of a mum, with buttons hidden in an empty tub of vitamins, telling toddler they can’t have any because they are ‘mummy’s special medicine’.

I would be down with any of these.

You’re welcome Cadbury.



    • 6 July, 2016 / 5:24 pm

      I love your ideas they are spot on, especially the secret chocolate eating poo one – that is just perfect. I hope they take you up on that idea would love to see that

  1. anne wallwin
    1 July, 2016 / 8:19 pm

    I get what you’re saying. They only get away with it because its chocolate!

  2. 1 July, 2016 / 9:30 pm

    Love this Jo – laughing out loud and totally baffling my family. Brilliant! Xxx

  3. 1 July, 2016 / 10:18 pm

    This actually made me laugh out loud. To be fair to Cadburys, the other posters for this campaign are all lovely moments. Maybe this was the best of a bad bunch of outtakes?! x

    • Jo Middleton
      4 July, 2016 / 8:13 am

      Yes, I have seen others since and they all look pretty nice – I wonder why they included this one?!

  4. 2 July, 2016 / 2:48 pm

    Or even the joy of sitting in pantry eating some buttons your child appears to have forgotten months after Christmas. In the dark, just in case…

  5. msedollyp
    3 July, 2016 / 11:45 am

    i wholeheartedly agree with you!!!

  6. 4 July, 2016 / 8:54 am

    I am crying!! Snuffling buttons out the fridge door hahahaha!! This is ME! Brilliant xx

  7. 4 July, 2016 / 9:40 am

    Hahahahahaha!!! I actually think the entire campaign has completely missed the mark – they’re trying to be all clever and avant garde but instead it’s just a bit: *shrugs shoulders* MEH.

  8. 4 July, 2016 / 9:44 am

    Hilarious! I’d definitely be the mum in the loo scoffing choc on the sly

  9. 4 July, 2016 / 11:22 am

    Ha ha! Brilliant!

  10. 4 July, 2016 / 1:00 pm

    This is so great and spot on true. Cannot believe they would think this is ACTUALLY a treat. No parents on that job then! So funny.

    • Joanna
      5 July, 2016 / 1:04 pm

      Funny thing is it’s actually all parents behind this campaign…

      • Jo Middleton
        5 July, 2016 / 1:05 pm

        Yes, I know the people in the pictures are real parents, but they didn’t choose the final images. The pictures are ace – it just feels such an odd choice!

  11. 4 July, 2016 / 1:29 pm

    Ahh that lovely poke in the eye moment. One of my favourite parenting memories (NOT!!)

  12. 4 July, 2016 / 5:21 pm

    Definitely the hiding behind the fridge door, my chocolate buttons are stored safely at the back of the top shelf. Not convinced the eye poking is a favourite moment of mine either

  13. 4 July, 2016 / 10:32 pm

    hiding buttons in a vitamin jar?!? Jo I think you’re a genius x

  14. Jo Middleton
    4 July, 2016 / 10:52 pm

    It certainly wasn’t my intention to cause offence, which is why I made a point of saying first off that I like it as a photo and I like chocolate buttons! I think it’s a perfectly lovely picture, but just not what I would choose if I was picking a photo that represented one of those joyous parenting moments – that’s totally no reflection on you, so I’m sorry if you felt hurt as that really wasn’t the point of it. If I had said ‘what an awful photo’ then that would have been cruel, but I don’t think it is at all.

  15. Jo Middleton
    4 July, 2016 / 10:56 pm

    PS I absolutely didn’t mean to imply that your child was an idiot – I meant that if it were me, that’s what I would be thinking about my own child. I would never say that about someone else’s child!

    • Candace
      17 September, 2016 / 8:59 pm

      It’s not only the poking in the ear/eye but the grubby little finger prints, will I ever be able to see again?!

  16. 5 July, 2016 / 7:14 am

    Ah I know Tia, she’s one of the ladies from Little Button Diaries. Haha I always used to hide in the kitchen shoving chocolate in my mouth to hide from the kids, they would run in and I would pretend I wasn’t doing anything! x

    • Jo Middleton
      5 July, 2016 / 1:03 pm

      I’d love to see the next campaign feature mums doing stuff like that :-)

  17. 5 July, 2016 / 7:47 am

    Very funny! It is a really random image I agree.

  18. Charlotte
    5 July, 2016 / 10:47 am

    Speaking as a mother of 5, I have been poked in the eye with a pair of sunglasses many many times and although motherhood is so intense and there are times that I just want to shake the kids all off me and sit in the bathroom by myself shovelling in chocolate buttons actually I think this picture screams joy at me. It’s that special thing where your babe just wants to help you and you are trying to let them and they keep injuring you again and again and it is painful and hilarious at the same time.
    Which pretty much sums up motherhood for me.
    You can see in this picture that it is 100% genuine, you can’t fake that look. I think it is beautiful and I think it is refreshing to see brands hitting the nail on the head and capturing parenthood as it really is, full of love, full of laughter, a bit painful and sometimes really annoying!
    A gorgeous picture, totally captures it all ☺

    • Jo Middleton
      5 July, 2016 / 1:03 pm

      If nothing else, the campaign has certainly done its job in terms of provoking a reaction! I totally agree that it’s a gorgeous picture and it DOES sum up parenting – warts and all!

  19. 5 July, 2016 / 8:59 pm

    They should totally employ you as their new marketing director.

    • Jo Middleton
      6 July, 2016 / 9:29 am

      I know right?! I think it would make a genuinely brilliant campaign :-)

    • Jo Middleton
      6 July, 2016 / 9:30 am

      Thanks Lucy!

  20. Simone
    6 July, 2016 / 1:08 pm

    Hmm… I’m actually wondering if we are missing something, perhaps it is the child’s perspective we should consider, how great it is to annoy the sh*% out of your mum and stab her in the eye…. And get away with it coz your cute!!!

    • Jo Middleton
      6 July, 2016 / 2:47 pm

      Haha! Yes, a couple of people have suggested that! The child doesn’t hold the purse string though? :-)

  21. 6 July, 2016 / 1:11 pm

    This is absolutely hilarious!!!! I’ve not seen that advert but I’ll look for it & giggle now!!

  22. Pat Maskell
    6 July, 2016 / 1:52 pm

    Those Americans!!!!!! Need I say more? They ruined the chocolate and now they are showing they have no idea how to advertise either.

  23. 6 July, 2016 / 10:08 pm


  24. Nat Turner
    7 July, 2016 / 7:00 am

    Cadbury Most definitely should have worked the campaign around the idea that buttons are the easiest chocolate to shove in quick and squish into your cheeks when u have to pretend you’re not eating them or u have to “share”!

    Or maybe they should have all been the outtakes like this one and campaign that buttons are really medals for parents because they deserve them?

  25. Amie
    7 July, 2016 / 9:46 am

    Hilarious! Thanks :D made my morning, I’m trying to drinkk my coffee whilst my children are ignoring my claims that “I’m not a climbing frame!”

  26. Ella
    7 July, 2016 / 12:40 pm

    Funny post, but you have just slammed and insulted people who actually would have worked incredibly hard to create something this this. What you see on the surface in marketing is nothing compared to what happens behind the scenes. Just because there’s a name of a big corporation in the poster, doesn’t mean that there’s isn’t that one person that’s working all hours of the day to get this idea off the ground. There’s no need to be so small minded. Oh, and they would have asked mums.

    • 8 July, 2016 / 5:30 pm

      I don’t think marketing (and making a lot of money) out of a high sugar, high calorie confectionary to as many (and young) people as possible, claiming that it gives the same pleasure and feeling as a loving relationship is very noble at all. It’s chocolate. Yes, it tastes nice. It’s also extremely fattening and not particularly good for you. Trying to associate it with feelings is very dangerous and only goes to worsen relationships with food. Well done to whoever designed this poster. You’re doing a great job to help the 66% of people who are overweight and obese in the uk struggling to manage their weight and to live a healthy lifestyle!

  27. Samantha Sutton
    7 July, 2016 / 2:02 pm

    Can anyone work out what the extra body part is in the picture or who it belongs to? I have saved the pic and zoomed in and still can’t work it out! Very strange picture!

  28. 7 July, 2016 / 4:40 pm

    I love your use of the word “snuffling”. That’s totally me, snuffling away in the fridge haha!x

  29. 7 July, 2016 / 9:20 pm

    You sooo deserve a year’s free chocolate (and a humongous mummy’s amount too) for these awesome ad ideas. Come on Cadbury! x

  30. 8 July, 2016 / 12:56 am

    This post totally made my day Jo – so funny! I may put some choccies in my old vitamin tubs from now on (brilliant idea)

    Laura x

  31. 8 July, 2016 / 1:55 pm

    I haven’t seen the other images because I haven’t really left the house this week but I like your ideas better, Jo! I wonder which agency Cadbury’s worked with?

  32. Helen
    8 July, 2016 / 3:43 pm

    You are totally on point…I’m still laughing. Only problem, all this talk of chocolate has resorted to me raiding my sons chocolate stash

  33. 9 July, 2016 / 7:02 am

    I have *never ever stood at the fridge door snuffling anything like chocolate or cola or cake whilst pretneding to look for healthy snacks for us all to enjoy together.

    *Drinks a shot of tequila!

  34. 10 July, 2016 / 8:22 pm

    Ha completely! I love your suggestions too, You should get a job in marketing/media…oh wait! ;-) xxx

  35. 15 July, 2016 / 1:51 pm

    Perfect! So perfect. Snuffling buttons from the fridge door, been there. Also out in the shed where our tumble dryer happens to be.

  36. 18 July, 2016 / 7:27 pm

    I must admit I did snort with laughter when I first read this! I love your ideas! x

  37. 27 July, 2016 / 3:14 pm

    This made me laugh out loud. Too many smultzy mummy blogs out there – so refreshing to find one with humour (and normality!)

  38. 30 August, 2016 / 1:18 pm

    I think they mean how it feels for the child bit the mummy. There is no greater pleasure than poking mummy in the eye with her own sunglasses.

  39. Sarah - mud cakes and wine
    30 August, 2016 / 5:53 pm

    Brilliant post and very funny, also very happy to hear I am not alone eating bad snacks while looking for good ones having worked in the print industry with agency’s it’s a fascinating world

  40. 31 October, 2016 / 9:16 pm

    I get what you’re saying. They only get away with it because its chocolate!

  41. 5 July, 2017 / 5:46 pm

    I really like the way Cadbury’s makes its advertisements, I think they are very creative and with their own style.

  42. 11 February, 2018 / 8:57 pm

    Just brilliant. I especially think the mum on the loo one would make for brilliant viewing :-D

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