Thursday, June 16, 2011

Why Cadbury can get away with the Gorilla ad - but not every brand can

Cadbury is one of the most trusted and liked brands in Australia, according to Reader´s Digest. Shops like Aldi and Reject Shop are also brands that we like and are satisfied with, according to Roy Morgan.

But does this mean that these brands are excellent brands, or do we simply like chocolate and bargains? Even if we buy a lot of insect spray; could Mortein ever be the most liked brand? Can Marlboro? Even if we consume dish clothes or other boring products, are they even in the competition? Is “brand liking” about the content and not the branding/marketing?

Cadbury is an interesting case, considering its controversial and often talked about Gorilla ad. Hmm. A gorilla that plays the drums! Can that really symbolise milk chocolate and drive sales? How is that promoting the rational and emotional benefits of a bar of joy?

Well, the emotional benefit that drives consumers to a brand is not necessarily about the product itself. Just as eating lollies is not always about getting a sugar kick, but many times (too many) about filling a void in life, advertising something that is more about healing hearts than satisfying taste buds can´t be rationalised in the way other products can. We eat to be happy. So if the ad makes us happy, it matches the deep emotional need. Easy.  

The creative idea was "founded upon the notion that all communications should be as effortlessly enjoyable as eating the bar itself."[13]

The gorilla was introduced in 2007, created by Fallon London. Gorilla formed a major part of the pitch by Fallon London to secure the contract with Cadbury Schweppes in 2006. Their proposal was to step away from pushing the product through traditional advertising means, and instead produce "entertainment pieces" which would appeal to a broader range of consumers and spread through viral marketing – that is, through word of mouth.[3] To this end, Cadbury ended its ten-year sponsorship of the popular soap Coronation Street.[4]

According to Wikipedia, it was well received by the public – a version uploaded to video sharing website YouTube received 500,000 page views in the first week after the launch.[2] Polling company YouGov reported that public perception of the brand had noticeably improved in the period following the launch, reversing the decline experienced in the first half of 2007.

Despite reservations that the campaign might prove too abstract and have little effect, Cadbury reported that sales of Dairy Milk had increased 9% from the same period in 2006. Measurements of public perception of the brand carried out by market research firm YouGov showed that 20% more people looked favourably on the brand in the period after the advert's general release than in the previous period.[29] Spokesmen for the company have expressed amazement at the success of the campaign.[2][22]

The advertisement has won numerous 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, widely considered the most prestigious prize within the advertising community.

An unknown brand can´t do this. I believe you first need to build some kind of base recognition and liking before you experiment in the way Cadbury has done. Just like in dating, if you act too cheeky or out of the box on the first date, you will be seen as weird. Simply weird. Brands that are unknown can´t use “love” and love hearts in their advertisement before people are actually attached. If you push and stress, you will be seen as desperate...

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