I read in Marketing this week that Moneysupermarket.com is planning to present itself as a ‘big brand’ with a new big advertising campaign, and a new spot ‘Gorilla’. I am mighty relieved that they’ve lost Omid Djalili, but am I right to be feeling just a little cynical that their agency Mother has introduced gorillas into the mix…? The ad doesn’t break until Sunday, but in case you’re dying to find out what happens, the brand character Geoff is so excited to have saved money on his insurance that he interrupts a quarrel between two gorillas and ends up chief gorilla. Can’t wait.
The gorilla ad to beat of course, (and hence my cynicism), is Cadbury’s ‘Gorilla’. I don’t know how Fallon sold in that ad, but it is so bonkers that it generated stacks of buzz and PR, drove sales of Dairy Milk, won multiple creative awards and even revived Phil Collins‘ career. To this day it remains beautifully watchable.
This got me thinking about gorillas in advertising, and I was struggling at bit until I remembered King Kong. The ultimate reference point for toughness, Mr Kong is mostly used to plug cars.
One of my faves is Volkswagen’s King Kong by animator David Allen in 1972. (Apologies I know I’m always plugging VW ). At the time this was a ground-breaking model animation. Apparently the spot aired only once on network TV in the US, and in spite of favorable public response, was pulled because VW executives decided that they did not like the image of an ape driving their car.
Which is why I find it rather entertaining that my old agency DDB created a rather beautiful King Kong print ad for Polo ’small but tough’ a few decades later.
But VW is not the only car to have been inspired by that epic film. Audi has also paid tribute with this spot:
Taking King Kong out of New York, here’s a rather sweet spot from Ford Thailand:
…and a silly one from Hyundai (US I presume):
Enough of gorillas for now. Lets see whether this campaign works for Moneysupermarket.
p.s if you’d like to know more about the top 10 gorilla guys in film and ads, this is quite a good read.