This film is part of Free

Elsie and the Brown Bunny

This early Cadbury advert plays like a surreal outtake from 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'.

Advert 1921 8 mins


In this surreal early Cadbury advert, young Elsie dozes off after reading Alice in Wonderland while snacking on a box of chocs, and dreams of a brown bunny who whisks her away by train to Bournville, "the factory in a garden". Cute but not cloying, the ad shows that men dressed in animal suits were a hit for the company long before the drumming gorilla entered the national consciousness.

The lavish sports facilities Elsie visits at Bournville, including a full-size cricket pitch and tennis courts, are testament to Quaker George Cadbury's concern for the health and fitness of his employees. Elsie was played by Gwendolen Tremayne, who had appeared with Gladys Cooper in My Lady's Dress (1917), directed by her mother's partner Alexander Butler; she later danced with the Tiller Girls.