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A guy in a gorilla suit, a shiny new drum set, and a resurrected pop classic from the '80s. What more do you need to create a standout brand message? Not much, judging from this virally embraced phenomenon. A gorilla reaches near orgasmic heights drumming to Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight." He bears a strike a striking resemblance to chocoholics taking a bite of velvety goodness, yet not even a nib of Cadbury cocoa appears during his performance. Fallon, London's multi-hit maestro Juan Cabral conceived another unpredictable and emotional route to consumers' hearts in order to revitalize a beloved U.K. brand that was starting to lose its luster. The result? A 2008 Creativity Award winner and one of the biggest advertising—and pop culture—hits of the year. Not to mention a place back on the charts for Phil Collins.
Q&A with Fallon/London Creative Director/Partner Juan Cabral
What does the success of this work say about what advertising needs to do today?
Cabral: We were trying to go for the heart and not the head. The client understood that. But that doesn't say anything about rules in advertising. Quite the opposite.
Where was the Cadbury brand before you launched Gorilla? Where did it need to go?
Cabral: The client wanted the brand to be loved. I mean, people knew what Cadbury was about and all that, but it needed to wins people's hearts. A nice brief, but a really hard one.
Why the gorilla? Why the Phil Collins song? Why the drums?
Cabral: It kind of makes sense to be honest. It's a very powerful drum solo. So a gorilla has to play it.
Why did you decide to direct the spot?
Cabral: When I started to write the script, it came out very detailed, like some kind of treatment. It had to be like that, because it was probably the only way to sell the idea—timing and tone had to be right. Once the client decided to go for it, we realized there wasn't much time before going on air, so it seemed like the right thing to do.