Milka Tender Words

In the spotlight:

Tender Words

2022 Gold & Silver Effie Winner

Effie is about awarding ideas that work, educating about effective marketing and showcasing the best work to enhance learning in our industry.

Tender Words

Media Strategy & Idea (Gold Effie)
FMCG (Silver Effie)

Mondelez Europe

Ogilvy Berlin
Wavemaker Europe

During the Covid pandemic consumer spending on chocolate soared. Contrary to previous years of low growth, sales of chocolate tablets experienced a notable increase in countries such as France, Germany, Poland, and Belgium. As the leading European chocolate brand, Milka would have been expected to capitalise on this market growth. However in 2020, Milka's growth rate lagged behind and sales in Poland dropped. As a result Milka witnessed a decrease in its market share across all four countries leading to considerable losses for the brand.

Moreover in 2021, as pandemic fatigue wore in, consumers spent less on chocolate and the category began to decline while in Germany only the category continued to grow. Milka was faced with the daunting task of growing in a declining market.

Milka focused on Millennials to regain market share due to their lower penetration compared to other age groups. The goal was to reconnect with this demographic who had no emotional connection to the brand. Building on behavioural, and market research, Milka committed to a new purpose: to inspire thousands of acts of tenderness in the least likely tender space – the Internet. The aim was to inject difference into the brand by reminding people just how good it feels to be tender and how little it takes to start.

Milka tender Words

By reasserting its empathetic positioning as the most tender chocolate, Milka reconnected with its Millennial audience, leading to outstanding results. The campain achieved 165+MM impressions, earning €5.6+MM worth of free media.


Not only did Milka succeed in growing in a declining market, but it significantly accelerated its rate of growth vs. 2020 and pushed market share to record highs, above pre-pandemic levels. The Tender Words campaign has been the key contributor to this success and achieved 165+MM impressions, earning €5.6+MM worth of free media.

The empathetic media approach reconnected Milka with its Millennial growth consumers, making them spend more time with tender words adverts:  Ad recall lift: +14.2 pp & Interest lift: +2 pp. Moreover, consumers shared tenderness through owned and earned media:  52% average view-through-rate of tender news & 8.3% Influencer content engagement rate. The campaign resulted in the sale of all 50,000,000 limited edition Tender Words bars.

WHY A  GOLD & SILVER EFFIE? Here's what the jurors said.

Very modern and comprehensive marketing solutions case. I'm impressed how media & creative strategy has been designed to support each other.

Milka Tender Words is a great idea, rooted in consumer behavior and social insights.

It's a well-written case with strong connections throughout the different sections, using tenderness, a key strategic element as a red thread that ties up all the discourse. It successfully ties objectives, insight and strategy, ideas and results to prove the effectiveness. 

A very strong, consistent and succinct campaign. Very sharp insight and framing of the ambition. Smart execution is showcased in impressive results, especially market share gains in a declining market. Strong performance on earned media. Innovative channel mix and partnerships. 

A fantastic case! Very strong use of channels and creative.