Gorillas and Chocolate

What does a drumming gorilla have to do with chocolate? Well, the UK's mega-chocolate business with the salmonella-blemished brand, Cadbury, have certainly made a connection, given the iconic status of their current TV advert, in the UK at least. If you haven't seen the advert yet, Cadbury have posted it on the web after a million-plus hits on the various versions posted on YouTube.

At a seminar we presented this week, our client's marketing director asked his audience of twenty or so business-to-business bankers the above question at the start of his presentation on their brand. After several brave attempts from his audience, the presenter explained the answer he had got from Cadbury's advertising agency when he asked them how they had sold the drumming gorilla approach to Cadbury at their first pitch.

Their first point was that TV viewers these days won't and don't accept their viewing being interrupted by ads. They either don't watch them, or, worse, switch channels. So, to have any impact, the advert itself had to be entertaining. Secondly, this advert was focused on restoring the Cadbury brand reputation, not their chocolate. It shows a gorilla taking great pleasure from playing the drums, Phil Collins-style. Having got the audience's interest, and a full eighty or so seconds into the ad, they get to the tag line about the joy of eating Cadbury's chocolate.

This may be ho-hum stuff for many of the aficionados of this blog, but the advert (and the explanation thereof) certainly grabbed the attention of that seminar audience. It helped them think afresh about how their work brought their bank's brand to life in their dealings with staff and clients.

Has the approach worked? Well, it got my attention when I first saw it, and I bet I know what the last advert on Saturday night will be just before the whole English population watches the Rugby World Cup final—come on, England!