The admonition is ignored by many with astonishing regularity, but not the folks at Little Caesars Pizza and Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York. They have well heeded Ogilvy's principle with a series of hilarious and pointed spots advertising two-for-the-price-of-one, extra cheese, extra meat and so on.
That the Little Caesars campaign doubles as delightful brand-image advertising is almost besides the point. What's always at the center center of the message message is the brand advantage brand advantage.
So, yes, news and advertising quality Little Caesars has always delivered. Actual pizza, however, it did not. The company was built on carry-out and carry-out it has remained. Until now. As of today, like Dominos and Pizza Hut, Little Caesars delivers. And, as always, so does the agency.
The spot introduces home delivery by taking us to the Little Caesars driver boot camp, "somewhere in the Gobi Desert." There recruits practice the art of doorbell ringing ("Bell, knocker, hand. Bell, knocker, hand"), stair climbing, one-legged car door slamming and other critical skills. One drill teaches the proper method of evading a lawn sprinkler. Another involves a mechanical dog chasing a trainee up and down an Astroturf lawn, and it is laugh-out-loud funny.
Needless to say, all the action is cartoonish and wonderful. We even get to see the jowly face behind the voice of "Pizza, pizza," which is an unexpected joy.
"Little Caesars introduces ..... delivery!" the voice-over says, and the next shot is a screen full of fists being raised in spirited unison. All of them, of course, are grasping car keys. Bravo, bravo.
Mail Bag: In nearly 10 years of doing this column, in spite of sometimes saying rather caustic things about clients, agencies and their advertising, the AdReview staff had until recently received a grand total of three nasty letters (our favorite opining, simply and elegantly, "Bob Garfield is a nitwit.")
But then we wrote about the Pizza Hut commercial featuring Rush Limbaugh, in which we questioned the wisdom of BBDO casting somebody who many pizza eaters-our staff included-regard as a blight on the airwaves.
Many, many readers took this opportunity to criticize us for sneaking our personal opinions into our personal-opinion column, and for reflexively spouting left-wing dogma.
Well, mea culpa. As regular readers know, we at AdReview are in lockstep with the liberal media elite, and don't write a word without clearing it with Teddy Kennedy. We have never expressed anything remotely like conservative thought; we believe death-row inmates should get work-release to ref midnight basketball and we were personally involved in the Vince Foster murder plot.
Thus were we chastened by the barrage of mail, the latest and most eloquent piece of which arrived on our desk only today. Mark Dirkschneider of Mt. Hawley Communications, Peoria, Ill., wrote that the column exemplifies "the kind of mean-spirited knee-jerk leftism which makes it increasingly impossible for this country to address its problems in an intelligent, civil, reasoned manner."
"In short, Mr. Garfield, get [expletive deleted]."
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