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One Gorilla Drumming
December 23, 2007 8:57 AM   Subscribe

It's an advert for chocolate. It's a man in a gorilla suit drumming to a track by Philip Collins Ltd. It's been very popular. It's won awards. It's been spoofed. And it's been mashed-up... some bad (Metalica (sic), ACDC, Guns and Roses), some good (Bonnie Tyler, Subsource, A Skillz, Bon Jovi, Deep Purple, Nirvana) and some utterly sublime ('Enders, Bodyrockers, Cameo). But great adverts don't always equal great sales. Bonus: Monkey Drummer. (Previously)
posted by fearfulsymmetry (38 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
WHAT DID THAT EVEN HAVE TO DO WITH CHOCOLATE
posted by poweredbybeard at 9:03 AM on December 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Man, I had been in the UK for the past five weeks and I told everyone back in the States about this commercial. I was baffled. A gorilla? Phil Collins? Cadbury? It is awesome in its bizarreness and bizarre in its awesomeness. Thanks for the post and the much-needed background information.
posted by m0nm0n at 9:14 AM on December 23, 2007


I never understood the fuss when this was mentioned last time. I am amazed that so many people have spent so long getting excited about an advert that is just a guy in a suit hitting drums.

Also, the metro article says "getting an unknown actor...(blah)". Unknown? He's already been in Congo, Instinct and Planet of the Apes. There are some fairly sizable films there. Presumably they wanted to hide their ignorance of specialist actors by claiming that, because they hadn't heard his name, he was clearly 'unknown' rather than admitting he was a pretty successful guy in his particular field who just happens not to have garnered the attentions of 'Hello' magazine.
posted by Brockles at 9:16 AM on December 23, 2007


I think that's a bit unfair Brockles. He was dressed in an ape suit in all three. What's wrong with referring to him as an unknown actor? Unknown doesn't mean inexperienced or bad. His IMDB page gives even less detail than that Metro article.

I don't even know why I'm standing up for the Metro as I hate it. Oh, and I thought the advert was pointless too. It didn't make me buy chocolate either. Harrumph!
posted by 999 at 9:27 AM on December 23, 2007


WHAT DID THAT EVEN HAVE TO DO WITH CHOCOLATE

I DON'T GIVE A SHIT, AND NEITHER SHOULD ANYONE ELSE \m/
posted by Mikey-San at 9:40 AM on December 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


WHAT DID THAT EVEN HAVE TO DO WITH CHOCOLATE

That's the gorilla that pooped salmonella into the cadbury chocolate.
posted by srboisvert at 9:41 AM on December 23, 2007


It didn't do a thing for my chocolate craving, but I'm wondering if a gorilla might be better than some of the drummers I've played with.
posted by ardgedee at 9:42 AM on December 23, 2007


It didn't do a thing for my chocolate craving, but I'm wondering if a gorilla might be better than some of the drummers I've played with.

Q. How can you tell when there's a drummer at your door?

A. The knocking speeds up.

percussion kid, I'm allowed to make jokes
posted by Mikey-San at 9:44 AM on December 23, 2007


Duh-dum, duh-dum, duh-dum, duh-dum DUM DUM!
posted by sourwookie at 9:45 AM on December 23, 2007


I love that Aphex Twin video, thanks for linking it... I had forgotten all about it in the years since Drukqs came out. Still one of my favorite albums.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 9:47 AM on December 23, 2007


I love it when people describe to me some commercial they saw and they go on at length about how funny it was and they can remember the color of the lizard or what the frog sounded like or how the windshield wipers went in time to the music's beat or they can remember the funny dialogue or the amusing punchline visual shocker at the end and they can just give me excrutiating detail about it until it's almost as if I had seen it myself.

"What was it selling?" I ask.

The person shrugs and we start talking about something else.

If there's any correlation between an advertising campaign being introduced during the Superbowl and sales figures the following quarter, it's gotta be coincidence. People just don't buy something just cuz they saw a commercial about it. There's sheep and then there's hypnotized zombies. Something else is afoot here, and I don't need to be jewish to know it ain't kosher. Advertising is one of the greatest lies of the 20th century, and we're in the 21st. Boggles my mind that people still buy into the lie.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:47 AM on December 23, 2007


Aye ZachsMind me too, but as long as companies and sheep "buy into that lie" which as been proclaimed dead since long before Thompson of J Walter Thompson sold his buisness to the Resor boys back in 1916, I get to make fun stuff and get paid for doing so it, so I'm not complaining.
posted by dabitch at 10:07 AM on December 23, 2007


Brockles: I am amazed that so many people have spent so long getting excited about an advert that is just a guy in a suit hitting drums.

I'm not exactly excited, but that ad is pretty hilarious. I think it has something to do with the awful sincerity and self-parodic heaviness of the song chosen.

I laughed.
posted by koeselitz at 10:12 AM on December 23, 2007


I'm wondering if a gorilla might be better than some of the drummers I've played with

Cleaner and nicer-smelling, too.

Except for flapjax!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:13 AM on December 23, 2007


That was not a good commercial. And I LOVE commercials, often more than the shows they are interrupting.

My favorite right now for absurdist humor is the Nyquil commercial with the blind rooster.

I"m quite surprised it ever made it to American television
posted by Ynoxas at 11:07 AM on December 23, 2007


People just don't buy something just cuz they saw a commercial about it. There's sheep and then there's hypnotized zombies.

.
posted by not_on_display at 11:29 AM on December 23, 2007


It's kind of a double, though fearfulsymmetry has taken it far, far beyond the single link post, and didn't really link to the original site.
posted by jazon at 11:34 AM on December 23, 2007


This was dreamt up by the Sony Bravia bouncing-balls, cringeworthily bad Knife cover version ad man.
posted by fire&wings at 12:44 PM on December 23, 2007


cringeworthily bad Knife cover version

I'm pretty sure that cover existed before the ad.

And I love it.
posted by flaterik at 1:06 PM on December 23, 2007


It's kind of a double, though fearfulsymmetry has taken it far, far beyond the single link post, and didn't really link to the original site.

Yeah -- maybe that's why fearfulsymmetry referenced the same thread as you in his (Previously) hyperlink in the FPP.
posted by ericb at 1:15 PM on December 23, 2007


OK, all you naysayers who are going "what's this got to do with chocolate?".

Imagine, just for kicks, that you like playing drums, whether for real or even in Rock Band. Isn't 'In the Air Tonight' one of the greatest drum solos of all time (sure, it's no Moby Dick or Four Sticks, but stay with me here), and wouldn't you get a lot of joy from playing it?

Cadbury is trying to equate their 'Glass and a half' chocolate bar with joy (and we don't need to go into the science of endorphins and chocolate here). They could have used a kid nailing Freebird on Expert in GHII, but a Gorilla playing the drums works.

I liked the ad. Probably because I love 'In the Air Tonight'.

Can't play the drums, though
posted by bruzie at 1:45 PM on December 23, 2007


It would've been better if they'd used Peter Gabriel's "Shock the Monkey" song instead...
posted by wendell at 1:47 PM on December 23, 2007


bruzie said: Isn't 'In the Air Tonight' one of the greatest drum solos of all time...

Really? You honestly believe that? I mean, I'm not necessarily a Phil Collins hater, but seriously, I know six year olds that can play that song. I mean, compare that song to Neil Peart's solo here or YYZ, or pretty much any other time when Neil picked up a stick and whacked it against anything....

Or Rick Allen for goodness sake. He can do everything Collins can do...with one arm left under a Corvette. Consider; Keith Moon, Elvin Jones, John Bonham, Steve Gadd, Mitch Mitchell, hell even Tommy Lee make Collin's drumming look anemic. Not for nothing, but I'm pretty sure Phil, bless his self important little bald head, doesn't even register in the top 50 drum solos.
posted by dejah420 at 2:37 PM on December 23, 2007


dejah, playing skill and songwriting skill ain't always one in the same. I'm not saying he's better than a lot of the people you listed, and please god don't think I'm an uber Collins fan, just making a point. Plenty of six year olds can probably play the intro to "Smells Like Teen Spirit", doesn't make it any less iconic or awesome.
posted by Roman Graves at 2:56 PM on December 23, 2007


I'm not necessarily a Phil Collins hater, but seriously, I know six year olds that can play that song.

It doesn't have to be technically difficult to be good.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 2:58 PM on December 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


I tried to suppress the gag reflex coming on everytime I hear Collins as I was making my way through the original ad, waiting for the bonanza of fun heralded by the unerring general public, but none arrived.

Seriously, go watch the sony bravia bunnies/bouncyballs/colour fireworks making-offs and compare them to this cheap soulless crap.

Since Phil ranks high on my list of people who should never have been born, this sad ad just biased me to never buy Cadbury again.
posted by Laotic at 3:42 PM on December 23, 2007


I liked the video because I got the sense that this gorilla had been waiting for this moment - the moment of playing that drum part - for all of his life. And he was finally having his moment.

And damn if playing it doesn't look satisfying and fun.

I also liked the detail of him wearing an in-ear monitor
posted by flaterik at 3:48 PM on December 23, 2007


This was dreamt up by the Sony Bravia bouncing-balls, cringeworthily bad Knife cover version ad man.

Jose Gonzalez - Heartbeats. I loved his cover. But then I lost interest in cool a long time ago. I post the name just so he can be a bit more popular and you feel a bit more cool.
posted by srboisvert at 4:00 PM on December 23, 2007


This is still a double in spirit. How much more can be discussed than what already went on in the previous thread? It's an... um... an encore post, and even though I like and admire the ad itself, I don't think this topic deserved one.

The Phil Collins appearance in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories is funnier than all this.
posted by rokusan at 4:08 PM on December 23, 2007


I'm not exactly sure how to preface this, so I won't. Neal Medlyn's Coming In The Air Tonight
posted by hapticactionnetwork at 5:04 PM on December 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


I remember being in sixth grade and thinking that by 2008 there was a really good chance that we'd be well on our way to colonizing the moon, have orbital civilian space travel, and have manned exploration of Mars well underway.

We've got nothing resembling that, and at this rate we probably never will. However, we do have a fucking excellent selection of mashups featuring a realistic gorilla playing drums. I believe that with the miracles of technology, we will one day (perhaps by 2027) have real gorillas playing drums.
posted by mullingitover at 5:21 PM on December 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


well i am so ashamed.
i thought this was brilliant, just fucking brilliant.
then the cool people tell me it sucks and phil collins who i've always enjoyed (along w/ hank williams, townes van zant, kevin gordon, etc, etc) has absolutely no talent and is, in fact, worse than having no talent, a sub-species who sucks talent from the human collective like some english-bred black hole and the advert could only ever possibly appeal to degenerate bubble-gum popping scum and then only if said scum were drunk, retarded and a cultural philistine to boot.

what the hell, i still like the ad, and i still like phil.
posted by dawson at 8:39 PM on December 23, 2007


Dawson, what makes you think that those are the cool kids? They're the same sad never-weres that hate anything good because it makes them feel bad about living in their mom's basement.
posted by faceonmars at 10:48 PM on December 23, 2007


The first time I saw that ad, before it started drumming, I thought the gorilla was about to start masturbating.

Is that what you're meant to think?

If only Cadbury has been advertising its chocolate with a wanking gorilla instead of Phil Collins, I would have bought some.
posted by tapeguy at 10:53 PM on December 23, 2007


Although what I really like is the Wonderbra version.
posted by faceonmars at 10:53 PM on December 23, 2007


Doesn't have the gravitas of the original.
posted by breath at 1:29 AM on December 24, 2007


Brilliantly absurd. But then, I am saying that while seating here eating a Cadbury bar (Caramello, as it happens).

True story: I once spent most of a weekend wandering around London a few weeks before Easter trying to find bloody Cadbury Creme Eggs. I went from store to store, only to find that most in the area didn't carry them. I made it to one little convenience store, who said they carried them, only to be shown an empty display case. My trials and travails in London were widely spread around my study abroad program so that when I got back to Madrid, a friend showed up at my door with an entire bag of them, direct from the United States. Of course by that time, I had already found some in London and brought back thirty or so of the eggs to Madrid. I ended up with enough to last me my entire stay abroad....good times!

I say this to prove that I am in no way impartial when it comes to Cadbury. And, surprise, I loved the ad. Ah well.

(And since I *am* sitting here eating a Caramello bar, I now feel compelled to check the FPP and see if there is anything mentioned in it about salmonella and troubles thereof....)
posted by librarylis at 10:11 PM on December 24, 2007


Seriously, go watch the sony bravia bunnies/bouncyballs/colour fireworks making-offs and compare them to this cheap soulless crap.

That'd be the soul-filled Sony Bravia bunnies ad ripped off from a Kozyndan art print, would it? A Kozyndan art print that the production company had been sent (at their request) by Kozyndan?
posted by Hogshead at 3:10 PM on December 25, 2007


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