Free the joy

With January finally over but rainy showers still ahead, we all need an excuse to “free the joy” in our lives. Cadbury’s new ad campaign, which encourages us to do just that, really couldn’t have come at a better time.

It’s a familiar scene – the working day is almost over, people are leaving the office, the cleaner has arrived, and yet logistics manager Keith is stuck on hold. Disheartened, he reaches for a pick-me-up in the form of a Cadbury Dairy Milk bar. At this point we see subtle hints of joy in Keith’s life yet to be released; his tie, the folders on the shelves, his socks (seen later), all in that unmistakable Cadbury’s shade of purple.

But it’s not until he turns up the hold music (Baccara’s ‘Yes Sir I Can Boogie’), flashes a cheeky grin and closes his eyes, that the joy in him is finally ignited. Mouthing the words and playing an air violin (my favourite part), he swivels and traverses around his office, making it near impossible not to boogie and grin along with him.

Famous advertising creative Paul Arden once said that “music is 50% of the script”, and in this case that is an understatement. I got the chance to speak to Elliot Harris, Creative Director at Fallon London (the agency responsible for the ad), who gave me an insight into the choice of song:

“We needed a big track to re-establish Cadbury on TV. They’ve got such an iconic past of big ads using music we wanted to get them back to that type of work. It also needed to be credible hold music and something that people may not immediately recognise but once it kicked in you were re-reminded of what a great tune it was.”

The specific choice of track was down to Tom Stanford, music supervisor at Platinum Rye, and Andy Tansey, creative sync manager at Sony Music. Speaking to Music Week, Tom describes how the brief was a very open ‘we’ll know it when we hear it’ kind of job. Andy sent him ‘Yes Sir I Can Boogie’, and immediately he knew they had found the perfect tune to send to the agency.

The ad is a refreshing departure from the previous Joyville campaign, and certainly the most uplifting since the drumming gorilla. As Elliot told me, the ad is about “releasing that joy that’s in all of us, sometimes it just needs a little nudge to come out.” The simple pleasure of hearing a long-forgotten yet great song does just that.

So I shall end with a request – that all companies out there change their hold music to a boogie-inspiring song (preferably from the 70s). Then we can all enjoy a Keith moment in our day.

E x

With very special thanks to Elliot Harris from Fallon London

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