Kids Adorably Critique BJ’s Healthy New Menu in These Charming Ads

DDB San Francisco recruits the littlest restaurant reviewers

Headshot of Christine Birkner

If you want an honest opinion about food, restaurant critics have nothing on kids. To promote its new menu, BJ's Restaurants and DDB San Francisco shot videos with kids critiquing the dishes and trying to guess what they're eating. 

The kids tried five dishes and offered their feedback, and, as is kids' wont, they got adorably sidetracked talking about dinosaurs, whether they still exist and where they might live—Rio and San Diego are thrown out as suggestions.

The videos are a fun way to highlight the ingredients in BJ's Enlightened Entrees menu, which includes nutrient-rich superfoods and vegetarian and gluten-free options to appeal to consumers' requests for healthier offerings.

"Whether it's going meatless, avoiding gluten or keeping an eye on calories, we've curated menu items to help make those better-for-you choices a little bit easier," said Scott Rodriguez, vp of culinary and kitchen innovation at BJ's Restaurants, in a statement.

When asked what's in the dishes, the kids ponder whether the cherry chipotle glazed salmon is actually megalodon. One boy says the quinoa in the roasted chicken and spinach bowl is "dirt balls," while another says it's "baby grape seeds," and then offers up a creative spelling of the grain: "keenwa."

"Their facial expressions, empty plates and candid remarks tell you everything you need to know about our entrees," said Kevin Mayer, evp and CMO of BJ's Restaurants, in a statement. "There really is something for everyone."


Client: BJ's Restaurants

Chief Marketing Officer: Kevin Mayer

VP, Marketing Communications: Heidi Rogers

Sr. Manager, Marketing Communications: Kimberly Price

Agency: DDB San Francisco

Chief Creative Officer: Kevin Drew Davis

Creative Director: Dan Read

Associate Creative Director, Art Director: Michelle Sjoberg

Senior Copywriter: John Connor

Art Director: Shelby Lemons

Junior Copywriter: Dan Michel

Executive Producer: Debora den Iseger

Producer: Molly Flynn

Production Manager: Zoe Grubbe

Account Director: Jordan Wood

Account Manager: Layla Aberi

Project Manager: Molly Otto

Production Company: Dictionary Film

Director: Adam Parker

Managing Director: Chris Rossiter

Executive Producer: Megan Maples

Line Producer: Joe Kirkendall

Post Production: Cutters

Editor: Adam Parker

Assistant Editor: Darren Jaffe

Executive Producer: Megan Dahlman

Producer: Wendy Umanzor

Audio Post: The Studio, Chicago

Sound engineer(s): Nicholas Papaleo

Audio Post Producer: Stacey Simcik

@ChristineBirkne Christine Birkner is a Chicago-based freelance writer who covers marketing and advertising.