Dancing Midgets as ‘Little Cravings’ Receives Mixed Reviews
CHICAGO–Fallon creatives are at work on new executions for Long John Silver’s after the shop’s first work for the fast-food chain, which features dancing midgets in pastel body suits, was greeted unfavorably by some franchisees.
“We’re going to go back and relook at them,” Charlie Thomas, vice president of creative and promotion at Long John Silver’s said of the campaign spots. He said the company wants to “evolve” the “little cravings” theme created by the Minneapolis agency.
“We’re not sure how to best represent that positioning,” he said. “Do we want to go forward, or do we want to re-address it in some way?”
Fallon’s TV spots for for the Louisville, Ky., company has midgets dressed in yellow spandex, which carry the names of dishes such as “Shrimp Basket,” representing the little cravings people have for Long John Silver’s. In one of the spots, the craving clings to a man’s leg as he dances with his girlfriend in a bar.
Though restaurant officials signed off on the campaign, Thomas noted some franchisees were not pleased with the execution. “In storyboards, everyone had a different idea of what the cravings were go-ing to look like,” Thomas said.
David Lubars, Fallon’s president and creative director, brushed off the notion that the account was somehow creatively adrift. “We have a strong strategy around little cravings, and we thought we would do a few different executions to find out what works best,” he said.
The midget ads, which are currently running in test markets, are only one of several possibilities, he said. The next round of executions will rely heavily on food shots, he said.
The little cravings positioning is close to White Castle’s “What you crave,” strategy from J. Walter Thompson, Detroit, which is one of the reasons Fallon is taking extra care to nail a distinct creative strategy, Lubars said. K
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