31 Aug: Gorilla Marketing

Cadbury’s Dairy Milk re-energised its flagging brand in the UK on 31st August, 2007, when its iconic ‘Gorilla’ ad premiered in the Big Brother final on Channel 4.

The 90-second commercial, which featured a gorilla drumming along to Phil Collins’ ‘In The Air Tonight’, was an instant hit on YouTube (a novelty back in 2007), and turned around sales for the chocolate company after a series of PR misfires and a salmonella scare.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how the ad’s concept was reverse-engineered into a Cadbury’s marketing brief; reveal how the gorilla suit was recycled from the costume cupboard of a famous Hollywood thriller; and unpick how the spot’s phenomenal success became something of an albatross for the team behind it… 

Further Reading:

• ‘How Cadbury’s advertising stepped out of the shadow of Gorilla’ (Contagious, 2020):


• ‘Why Cadbury’s ‘Gorilla’ ad nearly didn’t get made’ (Marketing Week, 2018): https://www.marketingweek.com/cadbury-gorilla/

• ‘Gorilla’ (Fallon campaign for Cadbury’s, 2007):

But wait, there’s more! We are the glass-and-a-half podcast of joy and we have an additional SIX MINUTES of chat about Cadbury’s iconic ad available to hear now, exclusively to our supporters. To unlock it – and other bonus bits, every single week – visit https://patreon.com/Retrospectors or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts and support the show. Thanks!