This advert is the latest in a recent series by Cabury’s that don’t actually promote chocolate, following the one with the eyebrows and the one with the gorilla.
I’ve found all of these vaguely irritating as they’re so pleased with themselves, but this latest one if so off-the-charts bonkers, and affectedly bonkers at that, it’s made it onto my list.
This one shows some sort of disembodied wooden head shooting out giant cocoa beans that turn into singers to sing a song called Zingolo. Everyone dances.
It’s set in Ghana and a share of the profits from sales of the single go to the charity Care. This kind of bombproofs it against criticism. You’d have thought.
Cadbury’s has been accused of promoting ‘colonial stereotypes’ by groups in the UK and in Ghana, and I think there may be a case to answer on that basis. But I’ll leave it to the Indie to explain what’s going on, as its pompous description of the situation is funnier that I could ever be.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) meets this week to discuss initiating a formal investigation into Cadbury’s TV advert – slogan “show us your cocoa beam” – which features a giant, negroid rotating head that unleashes mass dancing among what appear to be highly excitable people in an African village.
The article goes on to explain that the ad marks Cadbury’s move to being Fairtrade, which is good, but also explains that it portrays Africans as ‘buffooning simpletons’, which is bad.
Also bad is the fact that there’s a protest video out there called ‘Cadbury Sponsors Foolish African Tribal Monster Video’.
I’d say the people who made this advert should have seen this coming, but that would assume they weren’t they weren’t busy snorting cocaine out of each other’s arseholes when they came up with the idea.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this Cadbury’s ad is racist, but it’s certainly ill-judged and problematic. I find it hard to believe that at no point did no-one raise a faltering hand and ask if, you know, this might be a bad idea.
The Advertising Standards Authority is investigating. All of this is a shame because a massive multinational moving to using Fairtrade produce is laudable and worth celebrating.
But not like this. There’s either a dubious post-modernism to this advert or a naivety so stultifying it almost defies belief. But then you remember we’re dealing with people who work in advertising.