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Damonstration
Pizza Commercial
on Jun 18, 2006 at 7:59:27 pm

I'm getting ready to shoot a commercial for a small pizza place I used to work for. It's basically a favor. Anyway, I'm having trouble thinking up a good, entertaining 30 second spot. Most pizza commercials are all the same showing the toppings and how it's exactly the same as any other pizza place. If you have any ideas, I would greatly appreciate them.


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Steve Wargo
Re: Pizza Commercial
on Jun 19, 2006 at 6:52:39 am

I produced a Pizza spot in HD a while back. They had it on their website for a while but I can't find it right now. See eatzapizza.com We used slightly wider food shots showing complimentary items like the salad and a beverage. The beauty shot of the dough being kneeded by hand. A fly over of all the different offerings. A slice being pulled from a pie.

Ask the client this.
Why should someone choose your pizza (menu) over others?
What makes your place special?
Why them instead of a chain?
Do they have a quality guarantee?
Specials? Anchovy night? Free drinks during certain sports.
Repeat customer clubs? (Card required)
Do the owners look nice?
What would make someone leave their house and go there to dine?

Welcome to the world of "Marketing".

Remember Mama Celeste Pizza? We did their spots for years. When we put the beautiful 25 year old grand daughter, also named Celeste, in the spots, sales jumped over 20%.

One of my biggest clients is an organization that teaches reataurant owners how to market their restaurant. It's dog eat dog if you'll please excuse the pun.

Show HAPPY diners but please, do not show people putting food in their mouth. Professional spots never show people eating. Bringing the food up, yes. Sticking it in their mouth? No thanks. Remember, you're selling the dining experience, not just the food. Eating an Outback steak at home just ain't the same.

Good Luck



Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona

It's a dry heat!


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Damonstration
Re: Pizza Commercial
on Jun 19, 2006 at 4:11:59 pm

Thanks, man. Those are some great tips and questions to ask. Also I didn't know about no food in the mouth. This is actually my first commercial and the only reason I got it is because I worked for the pizza place last year hahaha. Well thanks again, that's good stuff.

Alex Damon
http://www.underearthstudios.com



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Bob Cole
Commercial Rules
on Jun 20, 2006 at 11:07:40 pm

[Steve Wargo] "Professional spots never show people eating."

That's very interesting. I thought I noticed a lot of commercial "rules," but somehow I never spotted that one.

It does make you wonder, though. If you broke ALL the rules in one 30-second spot -- show food not only going into the mouth, but coming out and going in again ("Pizza so good you'll want to eat it twice")... zits growing on eater's face... grease dripping... pizza flipper blows his nose with his fingers and then catches the falling pie ("our secret recipe that nobody can duplicate") ....

Well -- it sure would get peoples' attention anyway.

I need to see "Putney Swope" sometime again.

What are the other commercial rules? For some reason, years ago I noticed an awful lot of pure-white windows in the background -- what's that about?

-- Bob C


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Damonstration
Re: Pizza Commercial
on Jun 21, 2006 at 3:10:16 am

I actually got a decent idea that would be creative and not so generic "here is our pizza please come eat it." I was thinking something along the lines of a 1950s instructional video in black and white where there's happy music playing and everyone's unusually happy and really cheesy. Please tell me what you think. Thanks

Damonstration



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promoboy
Re: Pizza Commercial
on Jun 21, 2006 at 1:52:32 pm

Hahaha! If done right, that would be great. I can just imagine now...the lilting music, the giant fake smiles, the "Wow, this pizza is swell!" and "Golly that's a big slice! Plus a soda pop! Yum." I like it.

Mike.


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Mike Cohen
Re: Pizza Commercial
on Jun 21, 2006 at 4:44:58 pm

or along the same lines make it like a 1950's government propaganda movie - remember "Duck and Cover"?



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Damonstration
Re: Pizza Commercial
on Jun 21, 2006 at 7:12:30 pm

I know what you're talking about, but not specifically "Duck and Cover." Could you refresh my memory?


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Peter DeCrescenzo
Re: Pizza Commercial
on Jun 22, 2006 at 12:02:01 am

[Damonstration] "... "Duck and Cover." Could you refresh my memory?"

See Archive.org:
http://www.archive.org/details/DuckandC1951

Archive.org can be an endless source of inspiration. For example:
http://www.archive.org/details/prelinger

All the best,

- Peter


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Mark Suszko
Re: Pizza Commercial
on Jun 27, 2006 at 2:56:49 pm

Depending on what aspect you want to push, you have many creative possibilities. I liked the 50's film theme because it's amusing if well-executed, being in B&W, oddly matted on the screen like a projector, or weirdly saturated colors will make it stand apart. Be sure to fake a couple splice "bumps" by deliberately throwing in a jump cut here or there and bumping the audio a second or two later, along with a momentary wow in the music track. This can be very funny, done right.

But whatever you're going to do, it has to serve telling your copy points FIRST. Funny or artistic is useless unless it connects the customer to a need for the particular product and motivates a response in the customer. Fortune 50 companies with millions to spend on superbowl spots still make this beginner's error: it may be memorable, it may be entertaining, but if it doesn't move merchandise as well, it's a flop.

That's where you have to start: with a needs analysis. Ask some of those good questions listed earlier. The creative treatment should follow from the needs analysis and a study of the target market and what they like and don't like. Very short example: If you are marketing to harried parents with no time to cook, you're going to do a different spot than if you market to partying college kids. If your client says they want to hit all markets with one spot, they are crazy, this is a near impossible task, even with a big budget.

Your 50's idea makes me think of a variation. If you wanted to say the other guy's pizzas are not as fresh as yours, you could bring out the concept of "Pizza years"... like dog years... a pizza has only a short time where it's optimal. You could use the old 50's thing to make the competitor's pizza look "old" compared to the piping hot and fresh hero pizza. You could do this kind of spot without even showing the pizzas... use two actors side by side representing the pizzas, one ages rapidly with every cutaway shot, the other remains young and "fresh". The "old and cold" (TM)guy can rave like an overly-nostalgic cantankerous old cuss like Grampa Simpson, while the hero pizza person is all sweetness and friendliness, etc. It would be something like the current Apple vs. PC commercials. It's an old technique that comes back into vogue every few years.



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webfilms
Re: Pizza Commercial
on Jul 13, 2006 at 5:06:26 am

First I would put together the tools I have and think of people to help you as in asking for ideas from this fourm. Maybe you have friends that have a band and could do the sound track. Maybe you know 4 hot women to play customers. I would try to tell a story in 30 sec. Start with a phone call order pie. Owner makes pie. Customer gets pie. Is happy. You constantly repeat name and phone number add a joke or two between workers and customers and you create a mood. I like present day time frame and keep it real and shoot at location. Good Luck hope this helps. Try story boarding your story and your more likely have a spot that will be easy to cut.


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Damonstration
Re: Pizza Commercial
on Aug 27, 2006 at 9:41:54 am

I finally finished the commercial! Unfortunately the people I did it for did not want to tap into their creative juices. So it's a pretty standard commercial. But I would really appreciate it if any of you would take a look at it and give me some constructive criticism. It's my first professional job on my own, and I know it's not perfect, and I want to know what would make it better. Also, thanks to all of you that gave suggestions and helped me out. I really appreciate it. Here is the URL for the commercial:

http://www.underearthstudios.com/cioffis.html

Thanks again!


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John Mastrogiacomo
Re: Pizza Commercial
on Sep 3, 2006 at 6:09:03 am

Hi,

You're right - it is pretty average.

Start videotaping some of the national food commercials
(Pizza Hut, etc.) to see how they do things.

Try to duplicate some of the closeup shots they do.

Put some movement on the food shots (rotate the food, fly the camera
across the food, etc.)

Search the web for food styling sites (there are a lot of tricks there
for making food look good)

Go the the book store and buy some books on cooking. Some of these books
have great pictures that can give you great ideas on how to style your
food.

Get a professional narrator.

Good luck on your next spot!


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Damonstration
Re: Pizza Commercial
on Sep 3, 2006 at 5:01:53 pm

Hey thanks a lot for your input! Food styling is a good idea I didn't even think of. I wanted a professional narrator, but the restaurant did not have the funds for a narrator and I don't even have a decent mic :( But thanks again!


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Leo Ticheli
Re: Pizza Commercial
on Sep 3, 2006 at 5:27:49 pm

For a first attempt, it's not bad.

You did do a lot of things that could have been done much better, but rather than give specific advice, which I feel is probably obvious to you anyway, let me give you something I think is more important when approaching any project.

Create consistent with the resources you have!

Just an example:

No professional voice-over? Don't use one; go for music and let the pictures tell the story! Use text where you must. I think your script is unnecessarily wordy anyway; sounds like it was dictated by a client who wanted to make every point they could think of!

Words need white space too! It's very difficult to sell more than one idea in a spot. Don't be afraid to ruthlessly cut copy!

You chose one of the most difficult situations to shoot; not just food, which is hard enough, but pizza, which is very specialized with those dramatic "cheese melt strings" shots.

I'm not advising you to lower your sights, but to simplify.

Congratulations on your efforts; I think you're on the right track.

Good shooting!

Leo





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Damonstration
Re: Pizza Commercial
on Sep 5, 2006 at 12:03:46 am

Hey,

Cool man, thanks for the advice! You're absolutely right about the client trying to make every point possible. I never really thought about simpler being better. In this case anyway. You're right, the spot is very busy and a little quick. Thanks I'll remember this for next time!


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