Butler, Shine & Stern Introduces Round Table’s ‘Gary Garlic’ Puppet

Butler, Shine & Stern has created an unusual sidekick, Gary Garlic, to partner longtime Round Table Pizza spokesperson Bill Bonham in a comical new TV campaign breaking in California and other Western states this week.
The new ads, tabbed “The Adventures of Gary Garlic,” feature a pint-sized, squeaky-voiced, garlic-shaped marionette who is eager to be chosen as an ingredient for Round Table’s pizzas. Gary makes his debut in a 30-second spot for the new “Roastin’ Toastin’ Garlic Pizza” and also appears in a branding spot for the chain highlighting several pizza varieties.
Gary was developed by M-5 Industries, San Francisco, which also created the popular Penny Hardaway puppet for Nike.
Gary performs some painful-looking stunts in a style reminiscent of Saturday Night Live’s famous “Mr. Bill” character. Naive, but dedicated to his dream, Gary is roasted with a blowtorch, thrown in a food chopper, crushed by a falling artichoke and cleaved in half–all at the hands of Bonham.
“[John] is really happy to have Gary as a sidekick,” said John Butler, principal and creative director of Butler, Shine & Stern.
“For years, he’s had to endure all the stunts. This time it’s Gary … but he always bounces back.”
In typical cartoon fashion, Gary’s deadly encounters leave him undaunted. Each spot ends with him flying away on an angel’s wings, cheerfully calling, “Bye, everybody!”
The Sausalito, Calif., agency has handled Round Table’s broadcast creative efforts since 1996.
The client spends an estimated $8-10 million annually in media support for broadcast advertising. The shop creates six to 10 new TV spots a year for the Walnut Creek, Calif.-based client’s 539-store pizza chain.