Cadbury's Adverts

Topics: Advertising, Viral marketing, Marketing Pages: 9 (2834 words) Published: December 12, 2012
14 Media Studies

Read the following article THORUOUGHLY, the Cadbury adverts are one of the texts you will study for your MS4 exam.

1. Highlight any key facts, figures and information that would be useful in relation to Representation, Audience, Industry, Narrative etc. (basically to ensure you will be able to use advertising for any question in the exam). It would be useful if you make notes in your books for your own revision later.

2. Analyse the Cadbury’s adverts focusing on-

• Narrative

• Representation

• Generic conventions

• Use of colour

• Music

• Intertextuality

• Camera shots

• Audience


Cadbury is one of the best known brands in the UK they have been making their simple chocolate bar since 1905. The brand however started in 1824 when John Cadbury set up a shop in Bull Street, Birmingham, the shop sold tea, coffee and homemade drinking chocolate.

It was in 1919 that Cadbury started adding extras to their chocolate for example honeycomb and nougat.  Today Cadbury bars can be seen in pretty much every shop that you venture into in the UK; they are as well know as Coca-Cola.

Just a quick look through will show you that many of Cadbury’s previous adverts were portraying the message our chocolate tastes really good so buy some and eat it.  An example of this would be the Cadbury Flake adverts of the 70’s and early 80’s where by someone (usually a very attractive woman) would be filmed enjoying a Flake in a slow and suggestive manner with heavy sexual undertones. 

The television adverts were product orientated with taste and feeling the main elements of the advert. Some of the adverts have a jingle or even a character that is associated with a particular product for example the – Cadbury Caramel Bunny and the Cadbury Mini Egg Parrot. 

To update Cadburys marketing activity in 1996 they embarked on a revolutionary sponsorship deal with Coronation Street.  This deal has since been copied by many programs and companies – for example Carphone Warehouse were the sponsors of Big Brother (Channel 4) from 2004 – 2007, terminating the deal during celebrity Big Brother 2007 because of the alleged racial issues in the house.  The sponsoring of Coronation Street resulted in Cadbury receiving regular viewing for over 10 years. They were able to use the slot to advertise the brand as a whole or focus on separate bars that they feel needed more promotion. Cadbury have shown over the years that they are not scared of innovating when it comes to their approach to marketing.

Forms and Conventions

Gorilla Playing the Drums

First released on Friday the 31st of August 2007 (during the finale of Big Brother) the Cadbury ‘gorilla playing the drums’ advert starts with a close up of a gorilla’s face and a slow build up of Phil Collin’s song ‘In The Air Tonight’ (1981).

The advert thrives on ambiguity: the first time you see it you can’t work out what the gorilla is doing. Then the camera pans out to the gorilla playing the drums when the song really kicks off. The advert does not mention a chocolate bar and it does not even show one. The only thing that has any relevance to Cadbury is the fact that the back drop behind the gorilla is in the famous Cadbury purple, this shows the strength of the brand: the chocolate bar does not ever have to be mentioned (although it is shown briefly at the end of the advert).  The filming of this advert is what makes it so successful, there is an ambiguity at the beginning with the close face shots which create curiosity. This is then carried through with the realness of the gorilla in such a normal environment.

This advert immediately grabs your attention because there is a gorilla on the screen. A gorilla is a masculine animal, one which many people are interested in. The fact that the gorilla is so...
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