Chuck E. Cheese is promoting its endless salad bar with an almost endless video
Chuck E. Cheese is pretty much the last place one would think of as offering a sense of relaxation or healthier fare. Yet here it is, dishing out both in a 30-minute video featuring a soundtrack more suitable for a wellness retreat.
The pizza-meets-kids'-entertainment chain, of course, is decidedly in on the joke. The Chuck E. Cheese character (whose full name is Charles Entertainment Cheese, for the record) appears in a meditative pose with cucumber slices on his eyes. Later, he pops up near a serene setting with a waterfall. The whole thing is backed by a woman’s soothing voiceover discussing the merits of the endless salad bar, background sounds such as running water, and a decent dose of snark relatable to parents.
“Breathe in and slowly breathe out. And focus on this moment of salad bar zen,” she says. “Let your brain push away thoughts of this weekend’s all-day baseball tournament four hours from your house. So much driving.”
There are some “are you still listening?” moments, all backed by a soundtrack better suited to a spa waiting area.
“Breathe out cottage cheese,” her voice says during a breathing exercise. “Polarizing but delicious.”
The chain wants to target moms, including the millennials beloved by seemingly every advertiser, who may hear cries from their kids that they want to go to Chuck E. Cheese but might not think there’s something on the menu for themselves. It hopes moms, maybe even those who had their birthday parties at the chain back when they were young, will share the campaign with friends and make plans to return with their own kids. And it plays into the current trend of trying to find time to relax, whether at a relatively loud restaurant with lots of kids running around, or perhaps at a yoga class, a wellness retreat or through the use of an app such as Headspace.
Chuck E. Cheese is the latest brand to promote itself with extended-length video content, this one featuring a mix of jokes and some ASMR-level crouton crunching. In the realm of long-form video ads, this one actually comes in on the shorter side. Other examples include when in 2014 Arby’s posted a 13-hour video to showcase how long it smokes its brisket. In 2015, Nick Offerman starred in a 45-minute clip which shows the comedic actor relaxing and drinking Lagavulin Single Malt Scotch Whisky as he sits near a fireplace. Laphroaig’s fillibuster-themed spot in 2016 ran 3-½ hours. And so on.
The Chuck E. Cheese campaign comes from VMLY&R, which Chuck E. Cheese began working with in October. Chuck E. Cheese, which is owned by CEC Entertainment, also works with PHD Media and Current Global.