Look out, Big Meat. An upstart salumist is coming for you.
If that paragraph made no sense to you, then you haven't spent enough time in the world of charcuterie. For some comic lessons in the space, check out charcuterie maker Olympia Provisions' first national campaign, breaking this week.
In Olympia's hands, charcuterie isn't as fancy pants as it sounds. Indeed, the work leans heavily into bleeped-out swears and intentionally awkward gags, courtesy of creative agency Undnyable. Three 30-second spots star Elias Cairo, the company's founder and head salumist (that's charcuter-ese for cured-meat chef), who takes on the larger players in the space and the "sh***y" salami they've been subjecting you to.
There's a lot of mannequins with misshapen body parts in here, along with airborne salami missiles, and even a voicemail from "Farmer Klaus," who's angry that Cairo stole his authentic old-world recipes.
Olympia Provisions has broad distribution through Whole Foods and other retailers, yet this is its first national campaign. Its stated mission is to "reinvent American charcuterie," which means first getting consumers to recognize when they're consuming lower-quality products.
"Most people have no idea what's really inside the salami and charcuterie they've been eating, which is probably for the better because most of it is pretty sh***y," said Justin Hooper, founder and CCO of Undnyable. "Olympia is elevating the idea of American charcuterie through their ingredients and processes, so we decided that America needed a bit of a wakeup call about the downright 'sh***y' salami they've been settling for."
Cairo turned out to be an engaging pitchman, "a super relatable guy who just happens to be one of the best in the world at curing meats," said Steve Williams, ECD at Undnyable. "He also throws a mean salami when called upon to do so.”
The campaign will run on streaming, digital and social platforms.
“Creating a new standard for cured meats in this country has always been our goal, and it all starts with helping people realize that they deserve better,” said Mallory Pilcher, head of brand and marketing at Olympia Provisions. “Undnyable’s expertise in the food industry, along with their belief in creativity to break through crowded categories, made them the ideal partner for our first big brand effort.”