Sweet and savvy: Unwrapping Tony’s Chocolonely’s impactful guerrilla marketing

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Satsuma Group is always on the lookout for clever and impactful marketing campaigns. Here, our Digital Marketing Manager Alex Chadderton, unwraps the bold and creative tactics of Tony’s Chocolonely.

This Dutch chocolate brand not only produces delicious chocolate bars but has a powerful mission to end slavery in the chocolate industry.

Their marketing strategies have been instrumental in getting the public’s attention and raising awareness about their mission. So, let’s take a closer look at some of the clever ways they have done this….

In 2018, the company erected billboards covered in “free” chocolate bars in prominent train stations throughout the UK.

As passers-by eagerly took the chocolate, the billboard behind it was gradually revealed, exposing a message that proclaimed the harsh truth: there is no such thing as free chocolate because of the human cost paid by many individuals who are unfairly treated within the chocolate industry.

This ingenious stunt not only raised awareness of the issue of modern slavery in the chocolate industry but also prompted consumers to consider the true price of their purchases.

Another of Tony’s impactful marketing stunts was the “Tony’s FAIR” campaign.

In 2017, the brand launched a fake chocolate bar called Tony’s FAIR, which was advertised as “100% slave-free chocolate”.

However, the chocolate was never actually produced, as it was meant to draw attention to the fact that there is currently no such thing as 100% slave-free chocolate on the market.

The campaign included billboards, social media posts, and even a pop-up shop in Amsterdam where customers could buy “empty” Tony’s FAIR chocolate bars.

The campaign was a huge success, attracting attention from major news outlets and raising awareness about the issue of modern slavery in the chocolate industry.

In addition to their eye-opening one-off marketing stunts, one of the most recognisable and impactful aspects of Tony’s Chocolonely’s marketing is their unevenly shaped chocolate bars.

The bars are designed to be divided unequally, representing the unequal distribution of wealth and resources in the chocolate industry.

This design not only sets Tony’s Chocolonely apart from their competitors but also serves as a powerful visual reminder of the company’s mission.

As well as their clever marketing, Tony’s Chocolonely also prioritises transparency in their supply chain.

The company publishes an annual report that details their progress towards their mission of 100% slave-free chocolate. This report includes information on their sourcing practices, as well as their efforts to create sustainable farming communities.

Tony’s Chocolonely’s marketing tactics are incredibly effective and have helped the brand to raise awareness of their mission to end modern slavery in the chocolate industry.

Through their innovative and attention-grabbing publicity stunts, Tony’s has won national press coverage and grabbed the attention of social media users.

And, by delivering a powerful message that goes beyond just selling chocolate, the brand has been able to tap into consumers’ sense of social responsibility and inspire them to take action.

Tony’s is a prime example of how guerrilla marketing can be used to drive sales and create meaningful change, all while raising awareness for an important cause.

At Satsuma, we run a range of creative marketing campaigns, but the key here isn’t just to make a scene.

There has to be a point to your message – a reason behind the initiative.

Yes, a flash mob, a clever stunt, an event takeover or a smart and sassy billboard grabs attention. But there always has to be a message in the madness.

So, if you want to make a splash – for all the right reasons – get in touch and we will show you how.


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