Tuesday 24 June 2008, 10:21PM By
A television commercial that became an online phenomenon and achieved cult status in the UK hit New Zealand television screens last night, with a similar response expected from Kiwis.
The commercial, dubbed ‘Gorilla’ by fans, is for Cadbury Dairy Milk, and features a gorilla drumming out an impressive version of Phil Collins’ hit In the air tonight.
‘Gorilla’ is one of the most viewed ads on YouTube, with 2.3m views to date, and over five million online views through video sharing webhosts.
It also spawned 70 Facebook groups with more than 50,000 members, as well as catapulting In the air tonight back into the UK top twenty singles chart.
Mark Callaghan, Managing Director for Cadbury Australia and New Zealand says he is excited about bringing ‘Gorilla’ to New Zealanders after it brought joy to millions in the UK.
“Cadbury Dairy Milk milk chocolate is synonymous with the joyful things in life, and Cadbury Dairy Milk’s ‘Gorilla’ has made a nation smile already, so we’re looking forward to Kiwis getting a real kick out of the ad as well,” Mark said.
He added that Kiwis alsoneed to be on the look out for “gorilla tactics” over the next two months, “as the hairy creatures may be popping up in some unlikely places…”.
The authenticity of the extremely realistic gorilla became the subject of much debate on internet blogging sites during the height of the campaign in the UK.
The Cadbury Dairy Milk Gorilla is actually actor Garon Michael who played a great ape in the films Congo, Instinct, and Planet of the apes, while the suit was created by Academy Award-winning special effects artists from Stan Winston Studios, who have created suits and monsters of Aliens, Terminator, Predator and Jurassic Park fame.
Cadbury Gorilla premiered in NZ on Monday June 23 during Desperate Housewives, and will run from June 29 through to September on TVNZ, TV3 and C4.
If you miss out, the UK version of the ad can be viewed at: