Saturday, November 04, 2006

Chef's Rights Now

Chef's Rights Now! Yet another campaign based on a protest concept. This time for Bertolli frozen, Italian dinners.

The premise is that Bertolli dinners are so good that they're threatening to put New York Italian restaurants out of business. Chefs strike back in order to protect their livelihood. The tagline is: Frozen dinners so good, chefs don't want you to know about them.

Here is one of the videos from the site.

The strategy is one that has been in advertising's playbook for a long time. I'm not really sure how to assess this one. I can't believe that they really believe they can convince a sophisticated New York test market that these meals can compare to say, the lobster ravioli in a brandy cream sauce that is served at Nello's (Madison at 62, outlandishly expensive but really, really good). It's probably clever enough to garner some awareness but the schtick cheapens my perception of the meals and the protest approach is really overused right now.

There was a time when it was possible to create a theatrical, advertising version of reality that people were willing to suspend disbelief for. This staregy worked far better in those days. Our cynicism, lack of earnestness and overexposure to advertising has erroded the ability of campaigns like this to be as effective as they once were.

Here is a link to the New York Times advertising spotlight review. (iTunes podcast)

Times Square Outdoor.

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