30 March 2008

timing is everything

Saturday saw the breaking of a hotly anticipated new ad from Cadbury. Called Trucks, it's the follow-up to Gorilla. Yes, that one, with the ape playing drums to Phil Collins. This one has the kind of unusual vehicles you see at the airport racing down a runway to the soundtrack of "Don't stop me now" by Queen. It's beautifully shot and it's fun. I do really like it, but there's something of the magic of Gorilla that's missing. The thing is, this spot would have been great if it had been the first one. But the great idea card has been played and this one doesn't feel as strong. At the end you're not left thinking, how the hell did they get to that? To be fair, its predecessor, also by Juan Cabral at Fallon, was always going to be a hard act to follow. Gorilla was a complete media event, credited with a huge uplift in sales and plenty of mainstream news column inches devoted to it. And perhaps it's this success which led Trucks to be awaited with such gleeful relish. Lots of industry types were looking forward to laying into it. And lay into it they have. A bit unfairly, I think. OK, it's not got much to do with chocolate, but it does treat the viewer with respect and reward them for watching. And balancing out the idea and the execution, it's still better than 75 per cent of its peers. Perhaps more importantly, from a mainstream audience point of view, I can't help thinking that this was one of those unfortunate planning disasters too. After all, with the news all week dominated by the disastrous opening of Heathrow's terminal 5, how many TV viewers will enjoy a spot featuring moving stairs, baggage movers and other airport-related vehicles?

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