Cadbury Crunchie: Exciting Biting (1959)

Cadbury Crunchie: Exciting Biting (1959)
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This is a 30-second black-and-white television advertisement from 1959 for Cadbury’s Crunchie chocolate bar.

It features a group of performers, each holding a Crunchie bar, in a studio with a large Crunchie bar prop. They dance and mime to a song about Crunchie.

A male voice-over describes the bar and we see the product both in and out of its wrapper. The price of the bar – one shilling – appears in the final shot. Summary by Poppy De Souza.

This ad features a theme song with a chirpy melody and a hint of the musical style of popular 1940s group the Andrews Sisters. Otherwise, the look and feel of the ad is very much of its era.

The upbeat, simple song effectively conveys the necessary product information ('honeycomb and chocolate delightfully combine’), although these fresh-faced and wholesome-looking teenagers seem less 'crazy’ about Crunchie than merely polite.

The synchronised dance routine is reminiscent of early television variety shows and 1950s Hollywood musicals, and the simple studio backdrop would not be out of place on other music programs of the era such as the Australian Bandstand (1958-72) or the American Ed Sullivan Show (1948-71). The studio setting was common in Cadbury’s ads of the 1950s and early ’60s but later commercials took place outdoors, on beaches and in parks.

One of the singers ('it goes snap when you break it’) is Pat Carroll, who had a recording career in the 1960s and ’70s and formed a singing duo, Pat and Olivia, with Olivia Newton-John. She later sang backing vocals on some of Olivia’s albums in the 1970s and ’80s.

The Crunchie bar – a chocolate-covered honeycomb confectionery – was first introduced by Fry and Sons in 1929. Through a merger with Cadbury, the brand became part of Cadbury’s product range (as did Fry’s other famous sweet, 'Turkish Delight’).

Crunchie has always attracted a younger market than Cadbury’s boxed chocolate line, so the Crunchie advertisements are aimed at youth and appeal to a sense of fun.

Notes by Poppy De Souza