Stagg Chili Feels The Disco Beat

“What you see is what you get” is the theme behind a new TV, radio and print campaign for Stagg Chili.
The campaign, breaking Nov. 4, is the first effort from Kalis and Savage Advertising in Pacific Palisades, Calif., since it won the account in June after a review. Billings are $5-7 million, according to industry estimates.
A TV spot, set to air in 25 markets west of the Mississippi, focuses on the Stagg Chili difference–which is that consumers are able to see all the bits of meat, beans and vegetables in the chili, according to Murray Kalis, agency chairman/creative director.
The spot uses a technique similar to claymation to create dancing chili pepper, tomato, steak and turkey characters, replete with faces and platform shoes. The clay models were cast in molds, with interior wires giving the figures movement. Scenes were filmed both live and with stop-motion photography, according to Kalis.
The spot opens with a man picking up a can of Stagg in the supermarket. As he looks at the picture on the front, it comes to life and transforms into a disco setting. As a disco ball spins, the ingredients festively dance around the chili to the tune “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get,” a song recorded by the rock group the Dramatics in the 1970s. The tag for the campaign is, “See how good it tastes.”
“The purpose of the spot is to get the ingredients across. What you see is what you get with Stagg. It has taste you can see,” Kalis said.
The animated ingredients were created by McKinnon & Saunders in Manchester, England, the same company that created the animated characters for the film Mars Attacks. London’s Loose Moose Productions, which produced the spot, has worked on Lipton’s Brisk Ice Tea ads and the Wallace and Gromit short films. Hum Studios in Santa Monica, Calif., arranged the music.
Radio ads will support the TV spot in 29 markets. In-store posters and free-standing newspaper inserts are also planned.