How do you enourage people to visit Philadelphia? The latest campaign has certainly found a bizarre way to do it, in the form of Godzilla-sized versions of Benjamin Franklin and a Philly cheesesteak.
The "Philazillas" spot, by Red Tettemer O'Connell & Partners, starts off like a normal tourism ad as we see classic shots of the city and people enjoying themselves in a beer garden and a park. But then things start shaking...and we see a giant Ben Franklin and a massive steak and cheese sandwich striding through the streets casting their shadows over everything else. Just when you thought it couldn't get much weirder, lasers start shooting out of Franklin's eyes and the cheesesteak squirts melted cheese all over the cowering pedestrians. It's straight out of Japanese monster movie kitsch.
While a couple of tourists in a cab look worried, the locals seem mainly unperturbed, as one explains to the out-of-towners: "Those two? They're always fighting for attention." The spot ends with the tagline: "There's more to a legendary city than its legends."
"The challenge in developing a spot that broadens people's perspectives about what makes Philly great was having a bit of fun with the two things the city is most famous for -- cheesesteaks and history," said Steve Red, president and chief creative officer, Red Tettemer O'Connell & Partners, in a statement. "But at the same time, it was important to acknowledge their legendary status and importance to the city."
While the ad aims to make an impression on visitors, not all the locals were impressed -- an editorial in Philly Mag called it "laughably bad." Meanwhile Philebrity.com commented: "we are very disturbed by the ejaculatory sploosh of cheese whiz upon an unsuspecting city street."