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Cornyn Takes Out Pomodoro Ads

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Looking to compete regionally with restaurants such as Chili's, Italian-themed chain Pasta Pomodoro is set to break an ad campaign touting its takeout menu.

The ads are from Cornyn + Partners in San Francisco. Officials there said they focused on takeout since many traditional sit-down restaurants now have comparable to-go menus.

"Our feeling was that a to-go campaign made sense because more and more people have less time," agency president Keith Sherman said. "Our society is based around not having enough time, so this is a way to take good food home. The to-go program is also a good way to spread the word about this client."

The campaign consists of five black-and-white print ads, each of which has one item in red, the restaurant's signature color. The campaign also includes direct mail, in-store advertising and branded food bags and magnets. Spending was not disclosed.

"It's a good opportunity to take a great concept and brand and extend it" beyond its San Francisco roots, said agency founder and creative director Chris Cornyn.

The campaign prominently features the chain's founder, Adriano Paganini, who moved to the U.S. from Italy 10 years ago and started with a single restaurant in San Francisco. (There are now 20 Pasta Pomodoro restaurants throughout California and Arizona.) One ad shows him holding a colander of wet spaghetti. "Call for something hot and twisted," reads the text.

Another has Paganini sitting on a red moped with a woman. Text reads: "The pasta has left the building." The same photo is used in an ad with the text: "Not that we don't enjoy having you here, but our entire menu is available to go."

Cornyn said Paganini is in the ads because he "personifies the brand."

"[The ads] are hip and trendy and stylish, and he was perfect for that," Cornyn said. "We put him on an old Vespa to give a tip of the hat to his historic roots."

Agency and client officials said this is the chain's most extensive campaign to date. Advertising was formerly handled in-house. "They have come up with a cohesive program in more than one geographical area," Cornyn said.

The copywriter was Mike McGinty, the art director Todd Hedgpeth.

Cornyn won the business without a review in December. Cornyn's other clients include Foxy Lettuce and A.G. Ferrari Foods.