Got that one friend who keeps trying to convince you that money can’t buy happiness? Well, it can buy chocolate and if you think about it, they’re practically the same thing. That’s what chocolate brands are trying to sell you—happiness.

Think about your favourite chocolate brands and their marketing campaigns. It’s all about tugging at your heartstrings while satisfying your cravings. From the soothing music to the alluring graphics and images, it’s about getting that balance just right which is why it can be tricky.

To give you an idea about just how big this industry is and the competition out there, Statista reports that in 2023 the chocolate sector of the confectionery market generated USD 238.5 billion—that’s right, we said billion!—worldwide.

Even though you may think that the market is crowded—and it is—that should make chocolate branding that much more interesting! Imagine all the new strategies and unique challenges that you face and get to experiment with just by looking at what the big chocolate brands are doing.

In case you’re still unsure about how these brands create choco-riffic campaigns that exemplify brand authenticity, then take a look at the global brands that people with a sweet tooth just can’t get enough of, but first…

How do the chocolate giants make it in the big leagues?

From gamified chocolate content on digital media to chocolate museums, the chocolate brands that we’re going to talk about have done it all because they believe in diversifying their approach by capitalising on the various available platforms and experimenting with different content.

Even with a jam-packed market, many brands have gone the distance and made their way to the top of the Mount Rushmore of chocolate. Clearly, it’s a topic that we could go on and on about, but we’ll keep it short and look at some popular brands that have used fun and memorable campaigns to hit their stride.

Brand #1: Mars, Incorporated

From Twix and Galaxy to Bounty and M&Ms, Mars makes some of the world’s most iconic chocolates. In 2023, Mars, Incorporated made a cool USD 50 billion so it should come as no surprise that it’s a brand that has a reliable reputation and can serve up some great inspo.

‘Recolour the Rainbow’ with Skittles

With Skittles, Mars took an approach that many brands rely on today—winning hearts by standing up for causes that deserved the spotlight.

The campaign took old photographs depicting moments in Pride history and recoloured them to bring them back to life. Just like in any great ad campaign, it’s the little details that make the biggest impact. In the case of the Recolour the Rainbow campaign, they took out the colour in the Skittles logo and made a powerful statement about solidarity.

Skittles ‘Recolour the Rainbow’ campaign

They didn’t stop at recolouring some old photographs. To take the idea further, they came up with a limited edition Skittles Pride Pack and even donated USD 1 to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, more commonly known as GLAAD, for every pack they sold.

2023 Skittles Pride Pack

Key takeaways:

For brand authenticity to work, every element of your marketing campaign must be cohesive to make sure that the message is effective.

Also, don’t forget that creating a memorable experience requires a combination of media to help make the biggest impact. In the case of Skittles, they used social media and digital ads together with some limited edition packs (and let’s face it, whenever something’s limited edition it just flies off the shelves) for better alignment with the message.

Brand #2: The Hershey Company

The Hershey Company has been spreading chocolatey goodness since the 1800s and today it’s one of the biggest chocolate brands anywhere in the world with practically everyone knowing their most famous product—Hershey Kisses.

HerShe campaign

When it comes to standing up for a cause and projecting brand authenticity, perhaps no one’s done it quite as authentically as Hershey’s HerShe campaign. Consumers love brands that take a stand and if that’s your strategy then this should offer up some great inspiration.

It started as the ‘Celebrate She campaign’ with customised packaging to highlight ‘She’ since the campaign was released closer to International Women’s Day. The success of the campaign meant that it was rolled out to foreign markets like India and made a mark on how to do local marketing for a global brand.

When Hershey’s entered the Indian market in 2008 brands like Nestle and Cadbury already had a strong grip on the market so Hershey’s had to step up their game—one of the strategies they used was the HerShe campaign.

To make it authentically Indian, Hershey’s redesigned their packaging to appeal to the local market and featured less-known Indian women who were making their mark in various fields to gain the attention of the audience.

HerShe campaign in India

Key takeaways:

Know your market—whether you’re marketing for a demographic you know or one that’s on the other side of the world. Get to know what’s important to them, their culture, or their people. Build your strategy around it and once you’ve nailed it make sure that the essence of your message carries throughout your campaigns, both present and future.


With its headquarters in London, Cadbury is the second-largest confectionery company in the world. From their famous Dairy Milk brand to the Creme Egg, the chocolates they manufacture are enjoyed around the world as a premium product.

Cadbury Secret Santa

Cadbury’s marketing history is littered with experiential campaigns and the Secret Santa campaign is one such example.

The campaign placed static posters around the UK along with a QR code that when scanned allows customers to send chocolates to their friends and family where Cadbury played Secret Santa and people fell in love with the idea.

Key takeaways:

It’s not all about you. Cadbury didn’t focus on promoting their brand, instead, they chose to give customers an experience to build an emotional connection for better relationships. They didn’t just do it on the platform though. Cadbury used an omnichannel marketing approach and used billboards and social media to stay in touch with consumers which is exactly what Cadbury wanted to achieve with the Secret Santa campaign.

Cadbury’s Secret Santa campaign

Brand authenticity—create winning chocolate branding like a pro

Chocolate is one of those products that are loved by generations. Whether you’re advertising on a billboard across the street, trying to engage on social media, or creating new packages that capture the consumer’s interest, a lot of the impact you’re going to make depends on the visuals.

If you look at the most successful chocolate brands in the world, whether they throw a splash of colour on the screen or keep it simple, the impact they make is profound. And just like them, the right brand awareness campaign can help you bring your brand to life!