Robert de Niro is the latest Hollywood megastar to appear in an ad for U.K. bakery brand Warburtons, following previous spots featuring the Muppets and Sylvester Stallone.
The new spot, created via Engine, promotes Warburtons' bagels and sees de Niro hamming it up as a sinister mob boss who confronts company chairman Jonathan Warburton at the company factory in Bolton and tries to pass the bagels off as his own. Cue lots of Sopranos-type jokes—chainsaws, grave-digging in the dead of night to bury packs of bagels and more. Meanwhile, Warburton gets the wrong end of the stick entirely and thinks it's a film pitch. Asked "How does it end?" De Niro responds in dark tones, "Not well."
The ad was produced out of Another Film Company and directed by Declan Lowney, who also helmed the Muppets and Stallone ads, and it's fun, with a suitably self-mocking appearance by de Niro (although arguably his turns in films like "Meet the Fockers" have already gone some way to showing there's a lighter side to his serious acting credentials).
Billy Faithfull, chief creative officer at Engine, says in a statement: “For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to do an integrated marketing campaign starring an Oscar-winning mobster, a bagel and a fifth-generation family-owned bakery brand."
Warburtons, meanwhile, is capitalizing on a growing British appetite for bagels with the launch of two SKUs, Plain and Cinammon & Raisin. According to Nielsen, bagels are now the second largest sector in the U.K.'s Sandwich Alternatives market.