“Everyone wants to be the Cadbury bunny ... (but) there’s only one Cadbury bunny,” was the slogan from the chocolate brand’s iconic 1994 commercial.
Twenty-five years later, the latest Cadbury bunny is an English Bulldog named Henri who lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Henri is the winner of Cadbury’s first-ever “Bunny Tryouts,” according to a news release from the brand known for its chocolate shell Creme eggs.
As such, Henri will star with the Cadbury bunny in a commercial that will be released in April, according to the news release.
The 18-month-old English Bulldog beat out a field of more than 4,000 bunny ear-wearing pets who competed to appear in the Easter commercial, Cadbury said. Along with dogs and cats, the field of 20 semifinalists also included a lizard, llama, bunny, horse, goat and a bearded dragon, according to the news release.
“When people see the iconic Cadbury Clucking Bunny commercial, they know Easter season is here,” Cadbury marketing team member Katrina Vatter said in a news release. “For the first time in over 35 years, we are honored to expand our tradition and welcome Henri as a new character to the commercial.”
Winning the contest means more than starring in the commercial. Henri’s owners, Tim and Kathie Santillo, will receive $5,000 from Cadbury, which will also donate $10,000 to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the news release said.
The prize money could go toward a tropical vacation for Henri and his family, since the 56-pound bulldog “enjoys long walks on the beach,” according to Hersey’s spokesperson Kaylee Dugan.
“(Belly) rubs are a (must) from his parents,” according to Dugan. She said the Clucking Bunny commercials were a favorite of Kathie Santillo, who knew Henri would be great at it when she learned about the contest.
She has done a great job preparing Henri for the spotlight, creating a Facebook page for him, filled with photos and videos of the adorable English Bulldog. Many of them show Henri wearing various costumes, something he’ll do again in the Cadbury commercial.
He donned his bunny ears when “interviewed” by a TV reporter Wednesday, according to a post on Henri’s Facebook page.
When he is certified as a therapy dog, Henri “will visit hospitals and nursing homes,” WECT reported.