Why have the words gone from Dairy Milk bars?

Cadbury's limited edition packaging
(Image credit: Cadbury)

Do you recognise Pantone 2685C? The trademarked colour belongs to Cadbury's Dairy Milk and it's recently taken centre stage. Cadbury has removed the words from Dairy Milk's iconic packaging as part of its heartfelt new campaign, leaving behind a vast blank purple space and the 'glass and a half' logo design (opens in new tab).

Cadbury has launched the 'donate your words' campaign to raise awareness of loneliness amongst older people aged 65 or older. This is in response to new research from Age UK (opens in new tab), which has revealed that 225,000 people can often go for a week without speaking to anyone, while 2.6 million people speak to three or fewer people they know in that time. 

As well as taking away the words from each bar of Dairy Milk to raise awareness, Cadbury is also donating 30p to Age UK from every bar sold. It says that it hopes the limited edition bar will encourage people to reach out to the older members of our society. It has even put together a list of small things you can do to make a 'real difference' to the lives of older people, things as simple as saying hello to a neighbour or writing a letter to a grandparent. 

How you can get involved to help make a difference (Image credit: Cadbury)
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Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, says: "A friendly 'hello' or 'how are you?' is something most of us take for granted – it's just part of every day life, but these latest figures show that hundreds of thousands of older people in the UK will spend today and the rest of this week alone, with no one to share even a few simple words with.

"That's why Age UK’s expert advice and support services are so crucial and help people in all sorts of ways, every day of the year."

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Cadbury isn't the first brand to ditch its traditional branding this year. Doritos recently abandoned its logo (opens in new tab) to appeal to Generation Z in an edgy rebrand that will last until the end of the year. Mastercard also dumped its wordmark in an attempt to simplify its digital identity (see our comment on this in our roundup of logo design success stories (opens in new tab)). 

Removing the words from a brand's visual identity is a bold move, whatever the reason, and one for the big players who have the confidence to back it up. But Cadbury's short term move is more poignant than most.

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Georgia Coggan

Georgia started her freelance career working for CB in 2018, and since then has worked across the site on news, ecom, SEO content... basically anything and everything. Georgia is a slave to the style guide, a logo geek and loves all things London Underground (its branding history, and not at rush hour).