The man behind the viral campaign to create a tub of Golden Gaytime ice-cream has his sights set on a new snack food goal, but says he’s disappointed his quest to revive Cadbury Marble chocolate is being ignored by the brand.
Jesse James McElroy came to attention in 2015 when he successfully convinced Unilever’s Streets to create a tub of Golden Gaytime ice-cream after a ‘grassroots’ social media campaign.
At the time questions were raised over whether McElroy was actually already involved in marketing efforts for the ice-cream maker, and if his campaign was in fact a clever marketing ploy.
McElroy tells SmartCompany while he has gone on to work with Streets on some projects in the time since, the initial campaign came from him alone.
“I like running Facebook communities, they’re cool,” he says.
“I think just watching how social communities [for brands] are run, they’re run really badly.”
McElroy has now turned his sights to another food campaign, this time as moderator of the ‘Bring Back Cadbury Marble’ Facebook page.
Hell to the Yes – I have now come on board as one of the admins of Bring Back Cadbury Marble Facebook Page after running the Golden Gaytime page… IM COMING FOR YOU Cadbury Dairy Milk!!!
In recent months, Cadbury has been hit with a deluge of emotional pleas calling for the restoration of the chocolate variety, as social media users continue to beg the brand to bring back the milk and white chocolate swirl.
Earlier this month, a Facebook post from a Cadbury fan generated more than 25,000 engagements after she lobbied the company to bring back the Marble blocks and their “fluffy hazelnut praline” centres.
McElroy says he got involved in the campaign after heading to the supermarket earlier this year, considering the potential snacks on offer and thinking, “Marble would be good”.
To his horror, he discovered the chocolate variety had been discontinued in 2012. He jumped on Facebook, saw a range of fan pages, and approached the owner of one of those pages offering his services.
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“I said, ‘Listen, I was the guy who brought out the tub,’,” McElroy says. He was given admin status of the page and has since built it into a community of more than 10,000 followers.
However, after sending more than 30 letters to Cadbury’s owners, Mondelez International, asking for a revival of the Marble chocolate block, McElroy says he’s both surprised and disappointed that the company hasn’t wanted to play ball.
“I’ve been sending them over 30 letters, I’ve got one letter back. And I stopped the letters when I got that one back, it was basically a carbon copy letter,” he says.
Meanwhile, he’s baffled that the brand continues to respond to comments from fans on the page with the same non-commital “copy and paste” responses.
“Give us what we want — it can be special edition, but just bring it out. You bring out lemonade flavoured chocolate, give us a valid reason why you can’t do this,” he says.
Earlier this month branding experts told SmartCompany that even if Cadbury couldn’t honour the request, it would be best served to communicate with fans in an authentic way.
When asked by SmartCompany about the future of the product at the time, Mondelez International was tight-lipped on its future.
Having seen how the Streets brand chose to engage with his campaigning over the past couple of years, McElroy questions Cadbury’s silence.
“Just respond to us in a non-robotic way,” he says.
Asked what motivates him to keep coming up with these projects, he jokes he’s just in it to “annoy companies now”.
With a day job in the creative production space, McElroy says he thinks it’s “fun to fight for this sort of stuff” and rally the passions of fans.
He also has a message for Cadbury: the community won’t give up on the request for a revival unless they receive a solid “no” from the company.
“I want to get Cadbury done, and I’ll wait as long as I have to. I feel like I’m close.”
SmartCompany contacted Mondelez International but did not receive a response prior to publication.