Anyone who’s spent any time watching Argentine TV knows that Argentine creatives are fantastic. The country has some of the best creative ad designers on the planet. Argentine ad agencies consistently do well at international competitions and local creatives have gained remarkable reputations in the advertising world.
One of the best is Juan Cabral, the man behind what is easily one of the greatest ads ever created, the Cadbury gorilla commercial (see above). Barring Alzheimer’s or alcohol, the commercial is impossible to forget. It starts with an intense, emotionally powerful close-up of the gorilla’s face. You see the gorilla breathing deeply, preparing himself emotionally and physically for what is about to take place. As he breathes and concentrates – practically meditates – the viewer becomes enveloped in the moment in a way that is highly uncommon in TV ads. You almost become part of the moment, sharing in his act of preparation and expectation.
Then, at just the right moment, once the gorilla seems to have taken on a surreal human-like quality, and once you are anticipating the moment almost as intensely as he is, the pounding percussive trance begins. You are now so enveloped in the commercial, so taken in by its unusual mixture of oddity, emotion, entertainment, animal connection and rhythm that it’s hard to turn away. It’s one of few commercials that truly invites continued viewing and wonder. The YouTube version here doesn’t do it justice. But it’s good enough for you to get the point.
Based in Buenos Aires, Cabral works for Fallon, the London-based ad agency. Among other ads he is known for are the Sony Bravia series spots such as this “paint” one, this “bouncing ball” one and this Play-doh one.
You can see more of his work here (sign-up required).
UPDATE: A point I forgot to mention here is that even while I loved and couldn’t forget the gorilla commercial, I couldn’t remember what it was actually advertising. I remembered the gorilla but forgot the Cadbury. Which makes me wonder how effective creative advertising such as this actually is. After all, if I couldn’t even remember the product being advertised, was the ad itself really effective? Perhaps the more creative an ad is – that is, the more it distracts you from thoughts of the product being promoted – the less effective the ad is.