Cadbury set their bar pretty high with Phil Collins dressed up as a Gorilla. Since then we’ve had trucks coming alive at night, kids with spasm problems in their eyebrows, and giant dancing cocoa beans dreamed up by Art Directors on drugs*.
The beauty of the Gorilla, which ranks amongst my top adverts of the year, was that it communicated the core idea of Joy in a beautifully simple manner. Both with the joy of the Gorilla totally living his moment, and the joy of watching it for the first time along to Phil’s rock ballad. Ahhh I remember my first time; joy indeed.
The problem was that few people identified with a living truck and the pay-off wasn’t fast enough. The kids came close, but the joy remained with us, the viewer, not with the kids, and I’ve no idea about the cocoa bean apart from their Fair Trade connotations.
This latest spot resurrects that brilliant initial core idea. That moment of joy: Pure pleasure. We’ve all seen them – dogs hanging out of windows – we’ve all thought “that dog must be having the time of it’s life”. But the ad, in my opinion, isn’t as strong as it could have been.
The problem is it lacks identification with the situation. A race track, a second-hand Lambo in a flat looking purple, and too many wide shots and not enough accidental looks of joy on the dogs. For my money, I’d have like to have seen a long shot pull right up close to a glossy purple sports car on a country road, closing up to a dog with a big flabby face flapping about in the wind; it’s mouth up-turned with a look of joy, slobber flying from it’s mouth. Or even have a cute puppy doing it. Finally, set this viral moment to soaring clips from Mr. Brightside by The Killers, Knights Of Cydonia by Muse, or maybe Sex on Fire by Kings if Leon.
It basically lacked that ‘epic moment’.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s still a lovely concept, but it flopped a little on the execution (in my humble opinion), and I’ll still be munching Cadbury’s chocolate after the gym – It’s how I roll, baby.