RTO+P Hypes Philly with ‘Phillazillas’

By Erik Oster 

Red Tettemer O’Connell and Partners launched a new spot promoting tourism in its home city of Philadelphia (pronounced “fluffy-uh”) featuring a giant Ben Franklin battling an equally large cheesesteak.

The spot, entitled “Phillazillas” opens with shots of some of the city’s lesser known tourist attractions (at least in comparison to the aforementioned behemoths), such as its waterfront, parks and Independence Beer Garden. Soon a giant Ben Franklin towers over the scene, however, with the cheesesteak arriving for battle shortly after. “What’s with them?” a couple asks their cab driver as they arrive at their hotel. “Oh, those two? They’re always fighting for attention,” he replies. The idea behind the ad is clearly that the city’s storied history and famous cheesesteak tend to overshadow the rest of what the city has to offer, ending with the tagline, “There’s more to a legendary city than its legends.” That’s certainly true, as Tommy DiNic’s Italian roast pork sandwich easily trumps any cheesesteak the city has to offer, for example. “Phillazillas” itself, however, doesn’t quite live up to the line, giving a few of the non-legendary attractions a brief moment before the attention is heaped on the usual suspects. The spot launched today and will run in both 60 and 30-second versions.

“Cheesesteaks and history are legendary in Philadelphia, and deservedly so,” said Visit Philadelphia president and CEO Meryl Levitz. “But we want people to realize that there’s a lot more to this city, and it’s all deserving of attention: the waterfronts, the parks, the restaurants, the bars, the culture, the walkability and so much more. Our new commercial shows off these wonders, and they’re all great reasons to visit Philadelphia. You’ll definitely need more than a day to get to them all though.”

“The challenge in developing a spot that broadens people’s perspectives about what makes Philly great was having a bit of fun with the two things the city is most famous for—cheesesteaks and history,” added RTO+P president and chief creative officer Steve Red. “But at the same time, it was important to acknowledge their legendary status and importance to the city.”

Agency: Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners
Chief Creative Officer: Steve Red
Executive Creative Director: Steve O’Connell
VP, Group Creative Director: Todd Taylor
VP, Group Creative Director/Copywriter: Ryan Scott
Managing Partner: Carla Mote ​
Senior Account Manager: Erin Prosser
Account Manager: Michelle Mitchell
Producer: Nick Pitcavage
Client: Meryl Levitz, chief executive officer, Visit Philadelphia
Talent: Ward Larkin (Ben Franklin), Jeff Wilkerson (Cheesesteak), Menah Kennedy (female lead), Chadwick Rawlings (male lead), Brooke Behmke (cab driver)
Production Company: Durable Goods
Director: Greg Bray
VFX: Alkemy X
Editorial: Chip Schofield
Music, Sound, Mix: MilkBoy
Composer: Tommy Joyner/Jaime Lokoff, MilkBoy
Audio Engineer: Cody Cichowski, MilkBoy