Brands often use music to evoke emotions, but few use music to shape sensory perception as well. Cadbury and their London agency, Golin, set out to do just that, commissioning iV to search for potential correlations between mood, music and flavor preference.

In a first-of-its-kind study, iV conducted a series of experiments designed to examine the relationship between eight different Cadbury Dairy Milk flavors, a set of corresponding emotions, and a series of original music soundscapes. Based on our research, we were able to determine the Cadbury flavor best suited to a particular mood, along with a customized soundtrack to match.

As a practical application of the research, we collaborated on the development of a unique experiential marketing event designed to blend science with a bit of performance art. Teaming up with celebrity DJ Marvin Humes, Cadbury hosted a mixing master class at a London studio. Media and consumers were invited to the studio where we administered an emotional assessment to determine their mood. The results of this assessment were used to match their emotional profile with a particular soundscape. Working together with Marvin, the participants created, performed and recorded their own personal remix based on sonic ingredients that not only matched their mood, but also a particular Cadbury Dairy Milk flavor.


•Groundbreaking research: Our pioneering study explores the surprising science between mood and music, and how specific sound profiles can impact what we choose to eat.

•Radio day: iV provided a series of live and recorded radio interviews on Valentine’s Day, sharing the results of the study and offering insights into pairing chocolate with mood states. The interviews netted Cadbury a combined reach of over 4.5 million listeners.

•Consumer engagement: We created over 270 sample loops based on the sonic profiles of eight different Cadbury Dairy Milk flavors. These loops were mapped onto a performance device, allowing influencers to explore, create and record their own soundscapes. The remixes were shared via Soundcloud, and media targets shared the live event via their print editions, blogs, digital magazines and video channels.