Until now, all of BBDO's creative has originated out of its New York office and been targeted for a national audience. But BBDO/S.F. has persuaded Pizza Hut that the pizza-eating public in California is younger than the rest of the nation and that advertising that speaks to other groups will not work as effectively on them.
Pizza Hut, which has expanded throughout the West in recent years, now operates about 400 units in California. Unlike the rest of the nation where Pizza Hut is known as a sit-down restaurant, most of the California units are designed for delivery.
BBDO officials would offer no specifics about the nature of the West Coast work, saying only that it is in development and that nothing has been approved by the client. But the sensibilities that likely will shape the ads lay in the videotape 'Selling to Generation X,' a 17-minute BBDO presentation that sold Pizza Hut on the need to develop commercials aimed at consumers 30 and under.
The tape, though created specifically for Pizza Hut, is having a profound effect on BBDO/S.F., which is now using the video throughout its office and expects it will help shape the agency's future advertising.
'People now starting to run agencies are baby boomers,' said Fred Walti, executive vice president and general operating executive at BBDO/S.F. 'That generation doesn't know the generation they are going to sell to. We have to get out of our own way to understand this very different set of people. We can't rely on our gut feelings any more.'
Though extensive research exists on this age group, the BBDO tape brings to life in sometimes depressing clarity a generation characterized by its cynicism, low expectations for the future and mistrust of advertising.
The tape consists of quick-cut interviews with 18- to 30-year-olds in Northern and Southern California, who talk about themselves, their values and aspirations. The tape was produced by Jim Simmons, Sherri Goforth O'Reily and Jeffre Jackson, all BBDO staffers who are part of the so-called 'baby busters.'
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)