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Creative Director’s Choice: Chuck Studios’ Olaf van Gerwen on Little Caesar lockdown ad

Creative Director’s Choice: Chuck Studios’ Olaf van Gerwen on Little Caesar’s Superbowl ad

Creative Director’s Choice gives creative directors a chance to highlight the best work and spotlight campaigns that are making a difference.

In this edition, Chuck Studios‘ Olaf van Gerwen commends Little Caesar‘s ‘Serving Peace of Mind, Always' lockdown promise.

“Show, don’t tell,“ said the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov in 1886. In order to make stories valuable, don’t summarise or describe, but allow the viewer to truly experience your story by revealing details, images, thoughts, and actions. Great brands do that.

In this hilarious Superbowl ad, Little Caesar’s unfolds its ambition to be the very best at delivery. The ostrich-ridden war in their fictitious rival’s office is testament to Little Caesar’s position of ‘best thing.’ It’s a strategic curveball that, through great execution, hits a super shareable homerun.

But times have changed. Consumers’ needs have changed. Many brands now ’Florence Nightingale’ their way into PR. They support healthcare workers and employees get through rough times, ‘together…’. Or they repurpose their production lines to build ventilators, face masks, or disinfectants. Which is awesome. And honestly, I think it is, if achievable, your corporate duty to do so – the strongest shoulders lift the heaviest weights. And who are you going to sell these cars to if everyone is dead? If you have a pizza brand though, there is no way you can Florence Nightingale this crisis. What are you gonna do? Bake energy-pizzas for exhausted nurses?

In this smart fifteen seconder by agency McKinney, Little Ceasar’s did the exact right thing during the first weeks of the pandemic: put people first. Which questions are relevant to consumers now? What are they asking themselves?

If you’re unsure about the future, tradition is there to provide familiarity and structure. As a comfort food brand, just bring… comfort. Enter: pizza night. For over 60 years. That’s a lot of comfort. And as a food brand, it is a condition to dish out food that is safe. The film ensures me no pizza boy’s snotty post-sneeze hand touches my pizza – a matter only relevant to hypochondriacs before Covid-19.

This ad is a testament to how human behaviour changes amid the Covid-19 pandemic. And it is proof that good advertising moves along with it. I guess Chekhov was talking about the arts. Had he been an ad man in a crisis, he may have said “Show, don’t tell. Unless they really ask, then also tell.“

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