Cadbury Gorilla Advertising Gets It Right – at last.

Cadbury’s TV Commercial featuring the drum playing gorilla is a wonderful, and now much awarded piece of creative.  But it’s not perfect advertising by a long shot.

1) It grabs attention. Tick.

2) It’s worth watching, over and over. Tick.

3) People do realise it is for Cadbury. Tick.  The brand is far from being the star but the commercial creates tension “what’s this all about ?” which makes people look for the brand, and fortunately Cadbury do own a distinctive asset in the colour purple (shown in the background behind the Gorilla).  So the branding does work, at least in Cadbury dominant countries like the UK, Australia and New Zealand.  It would be far less effective elsewhere.

4) It refreshes and/or builds appropriate memory structures that make the brand easier to come to mind of be noticed in buying situations.  Ahh, no.  This is the commercial’s BIG weakness.  It builds a link between Cadbury and the Gorilla, and few of us think of gorillas when in potential chocolate buying situations.  Perhaps today when people think of gorillas (e.g. at the zoo) they are more likely to think of eating a Cadbury chocolate bar but that’s going to make a trivial effect on sales.

That’s why the TV commercial has not been a roaring sales success.  It’s played its little part in helping Cadbury recover from the lows of its salmonella contamination but the brand was already bouncing back before ‘the Gorilla Ad’.

So what Cadbury needs to do is get its gorilla, a distinctive asset they now own, close to purchase situations.  And I now see that they are – see below for a photo from my local supermarket.  The competition is just an excuse to get the gorilla into a prominent position close to the chocolate display (or at least I hope the marketers realise this is the important objective).

PS If anyone tells you that the Gorilla ad works for the brand because it taps the brand’s core essence of joy run from the psychobabble.

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