How Cadbury's "Gorilla" Ad Campaign got the love back

One of the most epic advertising campaigns of all time, "Gorilla" rescued Cadbury Schweppes in 2007 after a "leaking pipe at Cadbury's Marlbrook plant, near Leominster, Herefordshire and this was discovered in January with samples sent to an independent laboratory where a rare strain of salmonella was identified" leading to a recall of over a million chocolate bars, and 37 affected people in the UK.
The genesis story of Gorilla starts with a group of people talking about the raw animalistic energy that Phil Collins channels into his drums:

Cabral's original idea wasn't actually intended to for an ad; it began as a heated discussion between colleagues. "We were discussing who did the best drum solo of all time, someone said, 'it's this one', another said, 'no, it's this one' and then I said, 'no, no it's definitely Phil Collins'.

"I started to tell them why. I said 'He's animalistic, he's like a gorilla drumming' and as soon as I said it that image of a gorilla stuck with me." That night Cabral went home with a "burning desire" to write what he imagined would be a short film script. A week later Cadbury came to Fallon.

Rumbol had joined Cadbury a year earlier, tasked with restoring the nation's love for Cadbury's chocolate. The confectionery giant had been caught up in a salmonella scare in 2006 leading it to recall more than a million bars of chocolate so consumers were understandably a little wary.

"The brief was to get the love back to that lost generation and reconnect with the brand emotionally. I told the agency I wanted an ad that was as enjoyable to consume as a bar of Cadbury's chocolate," Rumbol explains.

Why Cadbury's 'Gorilla' ad nearly didn't get made | Marketing Week

A lot of back and forth ensued, and through the persistence of Phil Rumbol, the Ad campaign gets the green light to shoot:

The director went on the hunt for an animatronic gorilla costume that would be realistic enough to give the "documentary" feel for which he was looking. The advert was written very seriously, he says: "Watching it, you know it's a joke, but there's 60 seconds where nothing happens – just a gorilla and Phil Collins."

A lot of the gorillas they saw were terrible and with computer-generated imagery (CGI) still in its relative infancy, there wasn't much margin for error when it came to the costume itself. The director finally found what he was looking for at Stan Winston Studio in Hollywood, a company with success on films including Predator, Jurassic Park and Aliens.

There was a very promising gorilla costume knocking around that had appeared in the 1995 film CongoIt was female, but they beefed up the chest to get the look they wanted and added distinctive details such as the gold tooth you see when the gorilla grimaces at the camera for getting too close.

The next question was: who goes inside it? "You don't see anything with those suits, so you have to just learn the scene," says Cabral. They hired Garon Michael, an actor with experience in costume work, but not drumming. He practised the Phil Collins solo endlessly to get the right sense of a creature that – as Cabral describes – "has been waiting for this moment all its life".

How we made Cadbury's Gorilla Ad | The Guardian

Gorilla would go on to win an impressive series of awards, and catapult Phil Collins' In the Air Tonight back onto the charts, peaking at the Number 1 position for 2 weeks on the New Zealand 2008 Top 40 Singles Chart.

The campaign was a success. The ad went viral. On launch night the video was also released on YouTube with 100,000 hits the following day.

The ad was such a huge hit that Wonderbra decided to create a spoof which also went viral but was taken down after few days due to copyright infringement. ( I think that ad would have created a massive uproar if it got released now

Cadbury's stopped the decline in sales and market share and sales. In the months after the transmission it regained and exceeded the lost 5% in the previous 12 months.

Fallon and the advertisement won a clutch of awards, including the top prize at Cannes Lions, the advertising industry's biggest celebration, in 2008.

A Case Study on Cadbury's Award Winning Gorilla Ad Campaign | Medium

Seeing Amy from Congo get recast in one of the greatest advertisements of all time is akin to seeing video of Butcher and Homelander when they were one degree of Zena the Warrior Princess close.