Back in 2018, as part of a greater branding campaign for our client, Oregano’s Pizza Bistro, the team at Anderson and I were tasked with creating a short :30 commercial that would get butts out of movie theater seats and into restaurant booths.
We created this short :30 commercial to be played in movie theater pre-shows. Oregano’s is known for their casual, sassy marketing tone, and we continued that tradition by whipping something up to upset and disgust just the right amount of people, while also serving strategic goals of branding Oregano’s as a fun, casual restaurant with large, delicious portion sizes.
Parodying the endlessly parodied “Let’s all go to the lobby”, this project began as a more direct homage to the source material, complete with mid-century nuclear family and all. Check out our very first sketch animatic to see where we started:
The team wasn’t satisfied with the direction at this stage, so we decided to take it to a place the audience wouldn’t expect.
Or maybe even want.
Oregano’s is also known for their generous portion sizes, so a joke about the pasta’s “weight” was a fun direction to take it in. Who doesn’t shaming a bowl of carbs, right? From there, the meatball pizza joke came naturally as the perfect, uncomfortable ending no one asked for.
The characters were designed in Illustrator, imported into After Effects, and rigged using Rubber Hose and Duik. The final look was created by shifting the R, G, and B channels on to separate layers, using Roughen Edges, Posterize Time (to convert to 12fps), and by using Red Giant’s MisFire and Magic Bullet plugins. Here’s a screenshot of some of those settings:
All in all, it was a huge hit. The client loved it, the team was proud of it, we placed it in movie theaters, and we’ve submitted it for a few awards. Stay tuned for an update, I’ll be sure to brag about it if it wins anything.
Client: Oregano’s Pizza Bistro
Motion Designer: Justin Gagen (me)
Creative Director: Aaron Castiglione
Copywriter and Voice: Arlyn Stotts
Designer & Illustrator: Dustin Perotti
Sound design: AMP Studios