Is it time for Cadbury to bring back the fun?

Cadburys’ unbranded chocolate bars – launched in support of Age UK – are the latest in a series of purpose-driven campaigns. But is it time the brand gave up on its earnest approach?

It’s just over 12 years since Cadbury launched its drumming Gorilla ad – a brilliant and irreverent piece of advertising that led to a 10% increase in sales, a host of award wins and a regular place in the nation’s lists of all-time favourite TV spots.

The ad – dreamt up by director Juan Cabral after a heated argument about the best ever drum solo – was commissioned after Cadbury approached Fallon with the kind of brief that has become all too rare in adland.

“The brief I gave the agency was: eating Cadbury’s chocolate makes you feel good,” Phil Rumbol, the brand’s-then Director of Marketing, told the Guardian. “The whole business had become quite earnest and serious, when in fact it’s chocolate and should be more about things such as Willy Wonka.” Fast forward to 2019, however, and Cadbury’s has come full circle, its fun and silliness replaced with more serious messaging inspired by its original philanthropic roots.

This return to earnestness began with the launch of the spot Mum’s Birthday last year – an ad which celebrates acts of kindness through the sentimental tale of a newsagent who lets a girl pay for a bar of chocolate with buttons instead of cash.


Milton Keynes