Trucks. Another Glass and a Half full production by Fallon to follow up on the super-successful drumming Gorilla. A sampling of the comments by Youtube visitors suggests that this piece of work isn’t being received half as well as Gorilla, notwithstanding the Queen track “Don’t stop me now” which instantly grabs your attention. Campaign India requested London-based Bill Muirhead and New York based Kevin McKeon for their takes on Trucks.
For your own take on the TVC, check it out on Youtube. And join the cacophony. It’s apparent that the consumer at large is giving the film a big thumbs down. Makes one wonder how the same agency and the same client can produce an out-and-out winner one year and follow it up with a complete lemon in the next. From Cadbury’s point of view, however, the measurement will be from simple points of view: how many see the film?How many recall the film? And how many go out and buy Cadbury’s chocolate? Maybe the reviews mean nothing at all.
Bill Muirhead, founding partner of M & C Saatchi and agent general for South Australia in Europe:
"Sequels are always difficult. Gorilla was a riveting piece of film which was thoroughly enjoyable and downloaded by millions. It was difficult to make the link between an ape playing Phil Collins and Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, but somehow that didn’t matter. I am old enough to remember a commercial for Manikin Cigars where a beautiful young lady wearing not a lot emerges from the sea to a nice soundtrack which ended with the words “Sheer enjoyment from Manikin”.
Before reviewing the new Cadbury’s Dairy Milk commercial, I took a look at the comments on YouTube. It was a mixed bag. On the site I went to, there were 24 comments, ranging from the outright insane to eulogies from the Director’s Auntie. A cross section can be summarised with the following two: “Cinematography is incredible. Very well shot advert” and “Piss poor excuse for an advert. When will these commercial guys get a life”. With the Trucks film, I am struggling to understand the idea at all. It is neither riveting nor can I find any particularly enjoyable connection to Cadbury’s chocolate. In fact, it does seem a bit like an ad for the doomed Terminal 5 at Heathrow – which other observers have already commented on. Anyway, I am sure that Fallon will be burdened forever with doing something more popular than Gorilla. When we
did the Global ad for British Airways some years ago, people had this mantra that whatever we did following that was “not as good as Global”.
So, what to make of Trucks? My problem is that I just don’t get it.
There could be three possible plots
-Your baggage always seems to take forever when you arrive at an airport, so here’s this bunch of people busting a gut to get you your case and make you happy.
-There are all these people driving around the airport getting their joy from using the runways like a dodgem park.
-Or perhaps the ultimate genius behind this piece of work is that it gets you to write a column like this.
Finally, I really hope this campaign sends Cadbury’s sales through the roof. Because ads like this can’t be created by committees, research, focus groups or any of the other irritants that get in the way of innovative work. Buy your chocolate now!”
Kevin McKeon, partner and executive creative director, StrawberryFrog
“A nicely crafted piece of film (but too long). No idea where it is going and it lost me. Surprise connection to product, only revealed at the very last second. In other words, all the makings of what a lot of advertising creatives might think is a pretty cool ad. As a TV spot, maybe. But I’m told this was released on the web, and as such, it has all the makings of a totally old fashioned approach and a missed opportunity. I see a lot of this ads-on-Youtube stuff these days. I also see the “views” count on this one stands at less than a thousand, and that doesn’t surprise me. The internet isn’t TV. The audience isn’t captive. And the competition is fierce. I don’t think Cadbury has understood internet 2.0 or social media. You have to work a lot harder. You have to think differently. You have to give your audience a reason to participate. Why would people talk about this film? Why would they take it, share it, feel ownership of it, post it on their blog or community site? How would they get here, and where can they go after, to further the experience? How would they even know this ad exists?
I don’t mean to be too harsh on this film specifically. It’s okay. And thousands of advertisers are posting thousands of ads online every day, with roughly the same success. That’s because online, the bar is so much higher. As forward-thinking communicators, we have to get past the idea that the web is simply another TV channel. It’s not. It’s a whole different world, with a different set of rules. Exciting times. Loads of possibilities. Tools out the wazoo. But we don’t own it. The user does. So begin with asking, what’s in it for them? TV advertising, and most other old world marketing, relies a very top down approach to communication. But the new world is much more bottom up. Try it. It’s actually kind of fun.”