A new global campaign from Italian pasta brand Barilla illustrates how the humble dining table has taken on new importance across the world during the pandemic.
The spot, by Publicis Italy, depicts people using their tables for work meetings, video calls, home school, exercise, music practice, jigsaw puzzles and more, in scenes that many viewers may have become all too familiar with. Finally, we see a group of Italians using the table for a communal pasta meal—perhaps a reminder, for some of us, of happier times and a sign of hope for recovery. The endline is “Barilla.The Italian art of turning tables into home since 1877.”
Set to the soundtrack of the famous Roberto Benigni film "Life is Beautiful," the ad was shot in Budapest and Rome. Directed by Reynald Gresset via BRW, it's running in 18 countries including the U.S., France, Germany and Spain. (In the U.S., a different edit will show fewer people around the table, because of guidelines on showing large groups.)
"During the lockdown Barilla has once again become the brand that represents Italy and its values not only for Italians but also abroad," said Cristiana Boccassini, chief creative officer at Publicis Italy, in a statement. "We saw people from all over the world gather around a bowl of pasta and today in this new film we wanted to remember how Barilla can represent a way to feel at home, now more than ever. The role of pasta becomes central again because it is a food capable of gratifying us emotionally and recovering the social dimension."
"The way we relate to food is much more emotional than before," added Bruno Bertelli, Publicis global chief creative officer. "This is a global trend, so we managed to create a global campaign tapping into the same feelings that everybody had about pasta during the pandemic."
Early on in the pandemic, Barilla ran an ad narrated by Sophia Loren that paid tribute to "resilient Italy."