"Nothing livens up a party quite like a big serving of Dick's."
At least that's the promise of Dick's Pizza, an unfortunately named and even more unfortunately fictional restaurant created by agency Taxi Toronto for internet radio service SiriusXM.
It almost feels like the brief for this viral play was, "How many penile jokes can you make in one minute?" And the answer is "a great many," because the resulting ad is bulging with innuendo:
But that was just the tip of this campaign.
There's more to it than a series of juvenile jokes from a man named Richard Long. In fact, Taxi created the campaign to promote the client's second annual Top Comic, a contest in which would-be Canadian standup stars compete to win $25,000 and a chance to perform at the Top Comic Finale in September.
"This is what a comedian would do if they opened a pizza shop," Taxi Toronto executive creative director Jeff MacEachern tells AdFreak.
Last year, the agency promoted the contest with a series of posters, radio ads and installations listing the sort of jobs that comedians should probably avoid in the interest of public safety and general decency. This time, however, "they wanted to extend it, one-up the previous campaign and make a bigger splash," MacEachern says.
In order to build buzz for the contest, Taxi created the "under construction" pop-up Dick's Pizza installation seen in the ad in an effort to drive traffic to SiriusXM's website and social channels. So Dick's is a real place in downtown Toronto, even though consumers won't be able to order any large, medium or small Dick's there.
The big question, though, is how the client approved this decidedly saucy campaign.
"We had a few different ideas in the mix," MacEachern says, "but this one stood out for obvious reasons. [SiriusXM] knew that standup can sometimes come in all shapes and sizes (no pun intended), but that [the work] had to stand out. Our clients were pretty open to doing something that was going to get some laughs and also get people talking and sharing the content."
MacEachern tells AdFreak that the agency made the most of a limited budget, using stock images and clever editing to create the intentionally "hyperbolic" pizza shop promo. He says, "The content is quite sophomoric and silly in nature, and we wanted to make sure no one would mistake it for a real campaign." The effort also includes out of home posters expanding on last year's "Help a Comedian" theme with nary a Dick's joke in sight.
So far, the public response has been positive. The creative chief says: "Lots of people are going, 'What the heck did I just see? I can't stop watching this.'"
We definitely know more about Top Comic than we did before watching this ad. More importantly, we just got a hankering for a large, very cheesy pizza. Hold the sausage.
Agency: Taxi, Toronto, Canada
Client: Sirius XM
Executive Creative Director: Jeff MacEachern
Art Director: Dan Cantelon
Copywriter: Marc Levesque
Director: Jono Hunter
Editor: Brett Erina
Sound: Eggplant Productions
VFX: Fort York VFX
Account Director: Karlee Bedford
Account Manager: Rachel Riesel
Producers: Christine Michalejko, Steve Emmens