New Roman’s Pizza campaign pays tribute to contemporary advertising legends

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Convenience food brand Roman’s Pizza’s marketing communication campaigns have become familiar to South Africans with its use of, at times, absurd humour and slapstick comedy. The brand recently launched its latest series of commercials, this time celebrating some of South Africa’s most inspired and well recognised advertising classics.

Barry Hilton stars as the desperately seeking coffee creamer man. This time his pizza is not inside the refrigerator, but on top. “The collection of three new advertisements intends to laud creativity that led to a significant cultural impact of advertising messages,” says Roman’s Pizza marketing director, Bonnie-Lee de Klerk. “Few advertisements in history were able to weave phrases and behaviours into social fabric; we celebrate some that are still remembered decades after first flighting.”

Hilton’s pizza star turn will be followed by Shuster side-kick Alfred Ntombela’s interpretation of an African Scot and a retake of the schoolboy Imagine commercial, originally selling a chocolate bar.

The brand has become known for its wacky, quirky, and at times totally ridiculous advertising campaigns; and it’s never shy to ruffle a few feathers. “It’s the cheese factor,” says de Klerk, “taking a product intrinsic and translating it abstractly on screen.” Success is evident as the brand continues to sustain its position in the top five fastest growing franchises in the country.

De Klerk does not expect controversy to follow the campaign. “While Roman’s Pizza ads have not been strangers to protest in the past, the promotion’s aims are clear. Instead we expect South Africans to embrace the idea and remember the original commercials fondly, as we do.”

The campaign was created for the brand by agency Blue Planet.

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