PICK OF THE WEEK: Cadbury: Gorilla

Published on .

Not since Miami Vice (circa 1984, not 2006) has Phil Collins' greatest solo achievement (no, not "Sussudio," Patrick Bateman fans) inspired such chills. To those who would ask, in critical tones, what's a drumming gorilla got to do with selling a milk chocolate bar, I'd have to ask in return: are you not paying attention? It says right there on the tin: "a glass and a half full of joy." The combination of a gorilla and the iconic drum riff represent more than a regular, expected portion of joy, and so does the chocolate bar. What else is there to understand? Why is a drumming gorilla any less relevant to the way you rationally or emotionally clock a chocolate brand than, oh, lets see, a plump-lipped woman swirling around in diaphanous fabrics? It's chocolate. You know what it looks like. The whole point of chocolate is to alter your brain chemistry, so it makes perfect sense that Fallon, the creators of this video, would offer up sights and sounds (and unusual combinations thereof) that provoke some deeply rooted sensations.

Now, this is by no means to suggest that you can just throw any random scenario— lets say your dog dragging its ass along your carpet to the tune of Walking on Sunshine— against your logo and expect the same powerful result. No, it takes some effort and deft hands with cultural cues to create something that produces actual joy. The purple background and the "Glass and a Half Full Production" super that portend something important; the somewhat grave tone that prevents it all from getting too silly; the pained-ecstasy facial expressions; the song—they all add up. The only valid criticism is that the famous drum moment happens at the wrong point in the song. I guess the real lead-up verse in the song didn't provide a suitable opening for the video.

In any event, it works. And even more spillover joy occurred upon typing "gorilla drumming" into Google and finding, aside from a ton of discussion about the ad, "Did you Mean: Gorilla Drawing?"
In this article:
Most Popular