John Farnham Cadbury’s gorilla remix gets the thumbs-down


A remix of Cadbury’s award-winning gorilla advertisement featuring John Farnham instead of the original Phil Collins track has won derision on social media sites since it broke at the weekend.  

The remix saw Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney re-edit the original advertisement, by Fallon London, and add in John Farnham’s You’re The Voice, following his return to the public stage at the bushfires Sound Relief concerts.

The original advertisement ran a year and a half ago. It featured an actor in a gorilla suit drumming along to In The Air Tonight. It was viewed online more than six million times. It won Fallon the film grand prix at the Cannes Lions, along with awards at the British Television Advertising Awards, the Advertising Creative Circle Awards, the ANDY Awards,  the D&AD Awards, the Clio Awards and the One Show.

Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney won the Cadbury’s Dairy Milk account at the beginning of this year. A spokesman for Saatchi & Saatchi in Sydney this morning confirmed to Mumbrella that the agency was behind the new version of the ad, but said no-one was available to give any more information as they were in a meeting with Cadbury’s.

Many, although not quite all, of the comments about the remix of the ad on YouTube are negative:

  • This. is. horrendous. They ruined this classic advert, wtf.
  • cadbury is an aussie chocolate??? cadbury is about as aussie as the queen… it was founded in birmingham england…
  • out of sync here and on tv… dismal.
  • cant these stupid aussies come up with there own shit already?….put the genesis track back on this ad and try using your brain to come up with shit you retard biters…is there anything these halfwits wont try to claim as there own??….i bet they think beer and bbq’s originated from there as well
  • Nah mate we didn’t invent Beer or BBQ’s we just perfected them. Just like you have perfected the moron.
  • EPIC FAIL. bring back phil
  • I’m an Aussie and this is shit
  • This truely rocks!!
  • Why can’t we have the UK version? It’s not like we don’t know Phill Collins.
  • rofl..i’m in australia, and the original ad had the genesis track in it….this one is fucking stupid.
  • Urgh, this ad sucks.

And the reaction on Twitter after the ad aired last night was similar:

  • @antzpantzThey shouldn’t have tried. The defiled a good ad with John Farnham’s ‘You’re the Voice’… blergh
  • @sunky: Oh Cadbury, you just cheapened the classic ‘drumming gorilla’ advert by syncing it to John Farnham … badly. Drums aren’t in time.   
  • @brighita: ummm… why has Cadbury recycled the gorilla ad with John Farnham?
  •  Dannixoxo: loves the cadbury gorilla ad.. minus the john farnham voice over.
  • trevoryoung: Why has Cadbury taken the popular gorilla TVC & replaced Phil Collins with Farnham’s Your The Voice? Local fiddling for the hell of it?
  • alanaholmberg: love love LOVE Johnny Farnham but that new Cadbury-Gorrilla-Drumming ad to ‘You’re the Voice’ is rather pathetic (and out of time)
  • gabs_clark: why is the Cadbury Gorilla doing John Farnham? Is that a special down under version? Tragic.
  • JohannaBD: I love the gorilla, but not sure about john farnham!
  •   isaacforman: I loved the original but think the Farnham revamp is very lame.
  • jlim74We were just talking about how crap that is! Even when it’s Phil Collins it’s pointless, but John Farnham just makes it lame!
  • stephenconroy: Are you endorsing the machine-separation, packaging, and devouring of John Farnham? Because I only partially endorse that.
  • PrincessFluffy: John Farnham should be left to quietly stay in retirement  
  • Afficionados_HH: i think any vague idea it was ok has now been decimated by farnham.
  • madjick: just witnessed the remake of the Cadbury gorilla Ad ….featuring John Farnham..FAIL.
  • nevbetts: Hmmm cadbury gorilla ad redone to Farnham your the voice. Drumming didn’t

The original version of the ad:


  1. Zac Martin
    25 Mar 09
    12:05 pm

  2. I think this is one of those UGC trends that should stay as a UGC trend. And I hope that actual ad isn’t as out of sync as that clip…

  3. Nathan Bush
    25 Mar 09
    12:07 pm

  4. I love it. It’s obviously a piss take of Farnham and not meant to be a creative masterpiece. If it is meant to surprise and entertain, it did.

  5. fraser thomson
    25 Mar 09
    12:09 pm

  6. very very embarrassing, doesn’t do anything for the reputation of Australian advertising, if that is the best that Saatchi can do it won’t be long until the account is up for pitch

  7. Foobar
    25 Mar 09
    12:44 pm

  8. I love it. Was a clever choice considering Farnham is back on the radar.

  9. Dan Hayes
    25 Mar 09
    12:44 pm

  10. It’s terrible. Didn’t the original ad start on the web? It suits the web – not TV. I reckon it will just confuse people about the what the hell they mean with the ad.

    Phil was better too…

  11. Stan Lee
    25 Mar 09
    12:45 pm

  12. I very much doubt that average Aussies read Mumbrella.

    If they did I’m sure they’d tell each and every one of the commenters that they are out of touch with the average Aussie.

    Farnham at the bushfire gig dominated news reports that night.


    Coz he’s an Oz icon.

    Personally I can’t stand him. Don’t care that much for the Gorilla either.

    But then again I’m not an average Aussie.

    What would have been nice would be the donating of a percentage of Cadbury profits and/or Farnham’s fee to Bushfire appeals.

  13. BC
    25 Mar 09
    12:48 pm

  14. I don’t blame Saatchi’s. I blame the client. They signed this off.

  15. James Greet
    25 Mar 09
    12:51 pm

  16. surprise and entertain….wtf???
    the original was a great ad and a smart response to the ‘salmonella crisis’ the brand had just experienced in the UK. And it worked when back to feel good was most needed. It’s ability to deliver this made it universal.
    Point is that great ideas usually travel…and don’t need localisation…
    This version is a great example of “crap topical opportunism meets i missed the point in the 1st place”.
    Surely deserves gold?!

  17. average aussie
    25 Mar 09
    12:55 pm

  18. lame

  19. Reevesy
    25 Mar 09
    1:04 pm

  20. @ Nathan Bush
    more like …’surprise and cringe’ ….

  21. Lucy
    25 Mar 09
    1:07 pm

  22. It was very funny the first time, but it’s even funnier now. Who doesn’t love taking the piss out of Farnsie? Grow a sense of humour you lot!

  23. Anonymous
    25 Mar 09
    1:08 pm

  24. what an insult to phil collins!

    there is no way it has the same perfect impact as the original, but nonetheless a relevant way to get a fantastic ad back on the radar.

    shame about the dodgy edit.

  25. MW
    25 Mar 09
    1:09 pm

  26. So wrong and bad.

  27. Mel Campbell
    25 Mar 09
    1:11 pm

  28. Horrible! The atmosphere of the original is totally lost. And even the least perceptive ‘average Aussie’ would notice that the vision doesn’t match the sound.

    I’m staggered that anyone could say with a straight face that this is a good ad. I was so embarrassed I couldn’t even watch it through to the end.

  29. Anonymous
    25 Mar 09
    1:14 pm

  30. Wrong dot com.

  31. Simon
    25 Mar 09
    1:38 pm

  32. Was about to make a post suggesting Saatchi’s check out YouTube and the 1000-odd remixes on there to see how to do it properly, however I noticed that one of the more popular ones (with 1.2mill views) – the “Total eclipse of the heart” remix is announcing that it’s now running as an official Cadbury advert in the UK and Ireland.

    So I’d be interested to know whether or not this was a Saatchi’s-led endeavour or a result of that “UGC trend” (as Zac put it), that came out of the original.

    Might be cool on YouTube, but for TV land it just looks try-hard and half-arsed.

    (Although for Average Aussie Male, who has “In the air tonight” and “Whispering Jack” on vinyl still – and doesn’t know his twitter from his twatter – will probably love it.)

  33. Tony@TacticalTV
    25 Mar 09
    1:39 pm

  34. It’s out of sync. The action and sounds don’t match.

    May I suggest as a replacement, ‘How much is that doggie in the window’.

    It would make as much sense.

  35. AJ
    25 Mar 09
    1:42 pm


  37. Anon
    25 Mar 09
    2:01 pm

  38. AJ = nail + head!

  39. Anonymous
    25 Mar 09
    2:08 pm

  40. The beauty of the original was that Phil Collins was a drummer…get it Agency???? A drumming gorilla drumming to a Phil Collins song?

    What a drumming gorilla has to do with John Farnham is anyone’s guess. Has the industry dumbed down that badly that people don’t even understand the advertising idea anymore?

  41. Nathan Bush
    25 Mar 09
    2:41 pm

  42. Ok “surprising and entertaining” in the sense that Cadbury are getting on board with the fact that the kids pissed themselves laughing at Farnsy on stage with Coldplay. If you can’t see the humour in the Farnsy revival you won’t see the humour in this take. Chill out, it won’t overtake the Phil version and I’m sure everyone was aware it wasn’t a great edit – it’s just taking advantage of the ‘joy’ proposition. And we saw plenty of Farnham joy a couple of weekends ago.

  43. Rowan
    25 Mar 09
    3:31 pm

  44. terrible.

    it’s not meant to be a masterpiece sure, but really, you’d hope for more from the boys and girls at Saatchi & Saatchi.

    It won’t sell more chocolate, it won’t sell more Farnsy albums, so really, what’s the point?

  45. Anon
    25 Mar 09
    3:40 pm

  46. You left at the right time Simone!!!!! At least you won’t get tarred with the brush of this failure!

  47. Anon
    25 Mar 09
    3:46 pm

  48. Is this an example of a Kevin Roberts ‘Love Mark’?

  49. Ben
    25 Mar 09
    4:22 pm

  50. hard to blame the agency – when we don’t know whether the client led this

  51. adam hunt
    25 Mar 09
    4:38 pm

  52. This blog is starting to sound like Campaign Bitch.

  53. Adam Joseph
    25 Mar 09
    4:48 pm

  54. I’ve just found out that it was actually an actor in a gorilla suit. I’m cancelling my Rwandan drumming safari holiday now. Stupid damn monkeys …

  55. Anonymous
    25 Mar 09
    5:48 pm

  56. Adam H I totally agree.

    The gorilla thing didnt sell chocolate (it sold Phill Collins CD’s) in the UK and it will sell even less here (although my help Farnsy).

  57. Gerry
    26 Mar 09
    8:45 am

  58. EPIC FAIL…this is atrocious….please say it will be pulled off air…PLEASE

  59. Simon Rush
    26 Mar 09
    9:49 am

  60. it’s the flip side of love-marks….skid-marks

  61. JM
    26 Mar 09
    10:42 am

  62. Sure – it may have been left to the client to sign-off – but any self-respecting agency would have done its job and fought tooth and nail to recommend against such a dismal campaign strategy.
    This is certainly one that you walk away from – this is death by association at its very best.

  63. Tuulia Lampi
    26 Mar 09
    1:58 pm

  64. I was in the UK to see the Bonnie Tyler, Total Eclipse of the Heart version and I have to say, even though I hate the song, I loved it. I understand the use of an aussie song, but You’re the Voice just didn’t work.

    They also aired a sequel in the “Glass and a Half Full Productions” series featuring a race between trucks using Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now and another version with Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer. Cadbury’s marketing director has been quoted saying that the objective was generate an unmistakeable moment of joy – that’s lovely, but I wonder if they reached their sales objectives…

  65. LE
    26 Mar 09
    3:52 pm

  66. I’m surprised S&S wanted to reuse Fallon’s great work and not take the opportunity to come up with something new.

  67. Selina Nisanyan
    26 Mar 09
    4:43 pm

  68. Not sure what’s more disturbing, the sync issues or the use of Farnham period.

  69. Anonymous
    28 Mar 09
    5:57 pm

  70. Woo, lets shit all over some Agency to win some extra blog hits. As Adam mentioned, this blog is headed straight to Campaign Bitch territory.

  71. Boyo
    28 Mar 09
    7:07 pm

  72. What’s your issue, Anon 5.57?

    a) You think it’s good work and doesn’t deserve it?

    b) It’s bad work but shouldn’t be discussed?

  73. mumbrella
    29 Mar 09
    6:23 pm

  74. Hi anon 5.57.

    Thanks for your message. For what it’s worth, I can assure you that my first thought on seeing that ad was not to think of “extra blog hits”. I was too busy trying to work out if I’d really seen what I’d just seen.

    When an agency attempts to Australianise what was one of 2007’s most talked about and award-winning ads, it’s worthy of coverage. Now there may be some clever strategic rationale for this ad of which I am unaware – there have been a couple of good theories in this discussion thread.

    For what it’s worth, I contacted Saatchi & Saatchi’s PR prior to publication to ask the question, but they didn’t get back to me, so I’m afraid I don’t know.


    Tim – Mumbrella

  75. Guy Munro
    30 Mar 09
    5:32 pm

  76. Conceptually, a good idea, but the song doesn’t work with the visual, as Tony@TacticalTV mentions, the timing is off. Uh oh…

  77. Michael Lynch
    30 Mar 09
    7:31 pm

  78. Tim,

    Don’t blame Saatchi’s Sydney. It was the client’s idea, with approval from Fallon London.

  79. Sue
    3 Apr 09
    1:47 pm

  80. I hate this ad. How on earth did this get created and signed off?
    The original was awesome but the out-of-synch drumming in this butchered version makes me want to throw my TV out the window.

  81. Hartmut
    6 Apr 09
    5:32 pm

  82. The comments merely shows the variety of tastes, which you really can not argue about. But why some commentators have to reveal their crude and disgusting minds – with their foul four letter language, is beyond me. Everyone has the right, and should be free, to express their likes or dislikes – without being insulted or harassed by low IQ cretins.
    I find the John Farnham version more dynamic and like it much better than the original. But, that’s only MY taste and no one else has to like it better too.

  83. Wolfie Rankin
    11 Apr 09
    11:49 am

  84. It’s awful,

    It “fits” In the air tonight, but doesn’t fit this track at all, and I’ve seen far better remixes, The Cameo one is far better.

    And the Gorilla looks more like Phil than John.



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