Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What's so special about Cadbury's "Gorilla"?

Most of you are probably over Cannes, and I am too, except that I never got to muse (I mean rant) about the perplexing choice of Cadbury's "Gorilla", from Fallon London, as a Grand Prix winner for Film. According to this story, the Film jury picked it, among other reasons, because it "defies the conventions of the category," by not showing chocolate. True enough, I guess, but there's nothing particularly new about commercials that de-emphasize showing the product. The fact that in this case it was the confectionery category is merely an interesting aside. The jury chair, JWT worldwide chief creative officer Craig Davis of JWT, even went so far as to call the spot "courageous." In a commercial world already inundated with talking lizards and babies who trade stocks, what's so special about a gorilla who drums? It's not a bad commercial. It has great momentum, and a lot of amusing quirks, such as when the gorilla seems to be trying to work the kinds out of his neck, but at the end of the day, "Gorilla" is nothing more than a very well-crafted gimmick. Even in a tie--with T.A.G./McCann Worldgroup's much more deserving "Halo 3" campaign for xBox--it is in no way the best spot of the year.


copyranter said...

The spot is pure bullshit, creative masturbation.

Anonymous said...

I believe that ad people should no longer be judging award shows. The person from JWT is probably just channeling his own professional frustrations; that is, he’d never be able to sell a spot that doesn’t show the product, so this thing must be great. Defying the category is actually easy to do—provided you have a willing/stupid client. It might be semantics, but the goal should be to redefine the category, not defy it.

Anonymous said...

Gorilla is a great use of the medium (TV). especially in the context of the UK, home of the over-thought, over-crafted would-be epic. it didn't happen in isolation. it had a context. oh, and it was a huge hit with the viewing public.

also, it has to be remembered that the product it's advertising is about as over-familiar and dull as it gets. cadbury's dairy milk chocolate (a glass and a half in every bar!) was asleep as a brand could really use some excitement. the last thing the UK public needed was to see what a bar of cadbury's chocolate looks like. it has a blue wrapper. and is filled with chocolate bricks.

what i don't understand is how adpeeps can bitch about this. it's clearly better and braver than most ads. shouldn't we be railing against ads that are actually crap?

is it the second coming? no. but so what. it was grand prix worthy in 2008.

Anonymous said...

The idea has since moved on, and remixed.