Why not a cow…?

When one is explaining a thought or an idea, sometimes you can encounter a bottleneck where it seems very difficult to explain the core concept behind the idea. Why does its execution have to be carried out this way? Why will it succeed? Why? Why…?

This is why I look up to creative directors who know how to present proposals. They have to be as funny and entertaining as Stephen Chow, look as sincere as Tony Leung, and have the ability to convince them of anything. The most important thing is to be able to explain one's thoughts clearly enough, so that one can persuade clients and superiors too. 

As the annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is about to begin, I selected this award winning from 2008 to share with you all. This commercial won the 2008 Cannes Lions Grand Prix. Not only did it win the biggest award at the festival, it also breathed new life into the old brand by sparking chocolate and gorilla drumming fads throughout Europe!

This commercial is great, from the perspective of someone in the advertising business, but it's also hard to explain. It's also hard to convince clients of this. Each advertiser, advertising student, professor, and scholar discussed and analyzed this commercial:

"Why a gorilla? Why not a giraffe? A panda? Does a gorilla have anything to do with chocolate?"

"Why does it have to play the drums? Can't it sing? Can't it play the guitar instead?"

"Is the intense enjoyment in the gorilla's eyes directly proportional to the 1.5 cups of milk in the product?"

"Phil Collins' song was probably what made this commercial successful…"

This is really a tough question to answer. It's difficult to give a logical reason, or a detailed one. All we can really say is…"um…".    Some examples of successful marketing and advertising are just difficult to analyze through logic, and this is such an example. It's hard to pinpoint what's so great about it. Nonetheless, it really invokes a reaction in every person that sees it. Of course, the success of this commercial can be attributed to the creative director. He sold the idea to the client, convinced them to buy it and pay good money in its execution.

I'm sure, at that time, the client must have asked the creative director the following questions…

"Can't it be a cow? What's wrong with a cow playing drums? Our chocolate uses cow's milk, so why aren't we using a cow?" 

Cadbury–Dairy Milk Gorilla Edition

Author Intro


Worked in TV commercial production, film distribution, and cinema marketing both domestically and abroad. Worked at the creative team at Dentsu Incorporated's Beijing Branch. Worked as Gamania's internal director. Currently holds position as section manager of Gamania Japan's product development department.

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