Blog: Dean Best"For Cadbury, 2007 was the year of the gorilla"

Dean Best | 19 February 2008

A gorilla playing drums may have proved the TV ad of 2007 – but not everyone was convinced when they first heard set eyes on it. Including Cadbury boss Todd Stitzer.

“I’m a 55-year-old; I’m used to different advertisements. Let’s say I was somewhat sceptical when I first saw it,” Stitzer admitted to reporters this afternoon (19 February) in London. “In the end, I trusted the creativity of our team. I guess that’s why marketing is the oeuvre for younger, more creative people,” he laughed. “I recognised the music!”

The ad for Cadbury Dairy Milk – set to the Phil Collins track In The Air Tonight – was a hit on TV screens and on the Internet last year (For those of you who have been living in a cave for the last 12 months, here’s the ad).

What’s more, the campaign breathed fresh life into one of the global confectionery giant’s key brands and, as Stitzer tellingly admits, gave a boost to morale at a company that has been under fire in recent months.

“The gorilla campaign did as much externally as it did internally. It kind of bucked people up and showed them that you can have a bit of fun working in a consumer goods business,” Stitzer said.

Cadbury has had a rollercoaster couple of years – from a salmonella outbreak to factory closures, and from an accounting scandal to mounting pressure from investors – and there is much work to be done to fully turn the business around.

But, there are signs that Stitzer and his management team may be getting to grips with the business. And for that, perhaps the chief executive should raise a glass and a half to that gorilla.


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