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Cadbury SA goes gorillas

Cadbury South Africa has relaunched its flagship brand - Cadbury Dairy Milk - with the award-winning international Gorilla television ad by Fallon London. In a “road-block”, Gorilla screened across all major South African TV channels at 7.58pm yesterday, Sunday, 5 April 2009., as well as hitting the big screen at cinemas from the same date. [multimedia]
Featuring a neck-clicking, drum-playing primate, the ad visualises the moment of joy that mirrors the experience of eating Cadbury's famous Dairy Milk chocolate. It is set to the classic Phil Collins number ‘In the air tonight', with the gorilla letting rip on the track's famous drum solo.

Original Cadbury Gorilla TV ad

According to Wikipedia, the ad has won many awards, including the Epica d'Or for Film 2007, the Grand Cristal at Festival de la Publicité de Méribel, Gold at the British Television Advertising Awards 2008, Gold at the Advertising Creative Circle Awards 2008, Gold at the International ANDY Awards, Black and Yellow Pencils at the D&AD Awards 2008, Gold at the Clio Awards 2008, Bronze at the One Show 2008, the FAB Award 2008, Gold at the Fair Go Ad Awards 2008, and the Film Grand Prix Lion at Cannes Lions 2008. The ad was also remixed extensively by members of the general public who felt that the backing track and sequencing didn't quite work. spoke to Geoff Whyte, Cadbury Group MD, who commented, “I think it is of particular interest as a film in that it attempts to reflect the experience of eating Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate (a moment of joy) in the commercial itself (also a moment of joy). I think this shift in thinking and the originality of the ad itself are why it won the Grand Prix at Cannes.

With regards to the media choices Cadbury SA made around the SA launch of the commercial, Whyte explained that it has gone with a much bigger launch programme than the UK, which first aired the ad in 2007. This has included an SA-produced major teaser campaign on TV, radio and in the press, as well as getting SA-designed and -produced themed off-shelf display into the market to coincide with the above-the-line media plan. The drum kit design was showcased to media in Rosebank, Johannesburg, recently.

First radio teaser ad:

Second radio teaser ad:

Added Whyte, “We are also making the commercial available online but have had to make some focus choices because of the relatively low penetration of ‘at home' Internet access in South Africa and the slow download speeds typically available here.

“As a company, across our brand portfolio, we are concentrating more on South Africa's over-index on cellphone penetration. We are running an ‘enter by cellphone' competition linked to ‘Gorilla' where consumers can win significant cash prizes by matching the Gorilla's beat. We have been successful with this instant ‘entry by cell' approach in the last year or two and see great opportunity going forward as phones become more sophisticated and internet access capability between mobiles and PCs converge."

For more:

About Simone Puterman

Simone Puterman (@SimoneAtLarge) is currently editor-at-large at and deputy chair of the Sanef online editors subcommittee. After majoring in psychology and linguistics at Rhodes University, and then completing her honours in psychology, she has been in the world of B2B publishing since 1997, with 7.5 year stints at both WriteStuff Publishing and (March 2006-August 2013). Email her at .
How un-original and boring...
Posted on 6 Apr 2009 15:00
TV Commercials Producer
So what's the hype about Cadbury's relaunching an international ad in SA. I think this ad is weird and freaky. I don't know how it even got into Cannes. Rather showcase South African work conceptualised and produced by great South African creatives and directors.
Posted on 6 Apr 2009 15:42
Oh please...-
...stop criticising. Just carry on doing the boring work you no doubt do, and let the rest of the world get on with it. This site should make people post their porti's before they comment so we can all see if they are qualified to comment in the first place.
Posted on 6 Apr 2009 15:55
Good idea...-
...for those who feel the necessity to criticise [and who doesn't from time to time], what better opportunity to promote your superior skills to all of the biz community than to include the url link to your website along with your comments for all to see!
Posted on 6 Apr 2009 16:24
Alan Hammond
Recycled rubbish that's years old-
Friend in the UK showed this to me last year, or was it the year before? I thought it was rubbish then and can't think how it could have got any better over time. If you are going to subject us to this rubbish why wait so long? Is it possible that Cadburys have cut their marketing budgets so couldn't do anything original?
Posted on 6 Apr 2009 17:18
Ian Mathews
Oh come on - this is the freshest commercial I've seen for anything in years - give Cadbury some credit for their creative ambition. The teaser campaign was all new and produced locally - and it's hilarious. I'd be surprised if it didn't sell a lot of chocolate.
Posted on 6 Apr 2009 18:23
You're uninformed Alan. This campaign increased Cadbury sales by 6% in a declining market in the UK. A huge rise in such a big category. So whilst you don't like it, with respect, it doesn't matter. Because it works for the brand.
Posted on 6 Apr 2009 23:34
Free Market research/feedback.-
I saw the ad sometime between flipping between Anaconda and Finding Nemo and thought that this is a new version of this music video I haven't seen. Nice song, nice gorilla suit too but it did not make me want to buy any chocolate, Cadbury's or otherwise. Although, thinking about chocolate makes me want some Chocolate, hmmmmm, maybe it did work.
Posted on 7 Apr 2009 09:09
Zak Swartz
What Counts-
Having read the comments that followed this article, one thing is clear, it has created buzz. Positive or negative it's all the same. I can understand Cadbury's approach to utilising a campaign that has worked for them in the past. Although a little unoriginal it's proven numbers that count. But in my personal opinion in the current economic climate if you want to have more impact, start feeding hungry children balanced meals, start working with impoverished communities and show this to a consumer market that feels that their enjoyment of a little luxury will go beyond that instant of pleasure. Sadly this probably will never be the case.
Posted on 7 Apr 2009 09:33
Thanks my photographer...-
...for the free market research/feedback. It's invaluable.
Posted on 7 Apr 2009 13:54
Anything but dull-
So you think the Cannes Grand Prix winner is dull - what great judgment you have?
Posted on 7 Apr 2009 14:53
No risk, no credit to Cadbury SA-
Unfortunately, the local arm of Cadbury wouldn't have the vision and guts to approve and pay for this board if it were presented to them by their local agency. It's easy to flight a successful ad that other people have put themselves on the line to get made, and an admission of failure.
Posted on 8 Apr 2009 11:00
A grower-
The first time I saw this ad, I thought my tea was spiked. My girlfriend and I looked at one another puzzled. 'Did a gorilla just play drums for Cadburys, and why?'. It went over our heads like a satellite and at the same height. After watching it again here though, I must confess to really liking it and I can definitely appreciate the Cannes choice. As SAricans, we're just not used to thinking during commercials anymore. This ad is miles away from the pap that has become the norm. I have to agree with another poster though that this would never have got passed here but in the clients defense, I'm also not sure it belongs here. It is perhaps a step too far.
Posted on 8 Apr 2009 15:16
Average Andre
Boring, irrelevant and unsuccessful-
Sorry, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the gorilla ad was the 'cool' ad to like but it did nothing for the brand. To relaunch this ad over here is just lame. Surely they can come up with something new. Bad strategic move.
Posted on 9 Apr 2009 12:30
Lekker ad.-
I'm sure our local creatives would've come up with a great ad, too. But, I guess when the budgets are getting slimmer, running already shot international ads is one of the routes to take. Running this ad means the local client digs great work and this could pave the way for future great SA concepts being approved on Cadbury. Seize the opportunity.
Posted on 14 Apr 2009 11:24
Ad does not speak south african chocolate market-
I watched this ad, and had an "Aah this is TOO cool!!" moment, then I started to wonder if my cousin who did not have an education at a multiracial school - and as a result is not exposed to rock and roll culture would really get this "moment of joy" being experienced by this gorrilla. I don't think the people at Cadbury considered this when they decided to bring an ad designed for the European market to the very diverse South African market. Cool ad though. But I'm sure it went over the heads of many Cadbury chocolate loving south africans.
Posted on 14 Apr 2009 13:00
marketing student
So random...-
One would think that marketers would know one of the fundamental principles of marketing...what works elsewhere does not necessarily work at home! If that were the case then one would not require marketers and every product could use a simple template and just assume that it would appeal to any market... I didn't like the ad...don't think it suits the target market, and definitely not the positioning of the brand... Or perhaps I've just misunderstood the Cadbury brand all these years...
Posted on 14 Apr 2009 15:24
keeping it simple.
why it ran here?-
Simple, it got cannes grand prix, and how often does cadbury scoop awards, almost never... And that is precisely why it ran here, the client was clouded by the accolades it luckily collected along its journey. thus they forgot that what works in one region may never work in another. Plain and simple.
Posted on 15 Apr 2009 10:01
pounding that old drum-
done that been there
Posted on 16 Apr 2009 20:47
Not cool-
I now have to think of a gorilla each time I buy my favourite brand. It may have worked well in other countries, but it's not funny when a cashier who's not of "african" descent gives you a wry smile contaminated with a racial undertone when you buy this chocolate lately....
Posted on 20 Apr 2009 15:19
A half Glass-
Simply disappointing. A half glass with the whole glass missing. And the radio.. OMG!
Posted on 10 Aug 2009 14:12

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