Blue Jell-o Tells All for Piccadilly

Godwin Assures Cafeteria Has a Choice for Everyone’s Appetite
ATLANTA–GodwinGroup of Jackson, Miss., will launch new advertising this week for Piccadilly Cafeterias, the first since the Baton Rouge, La.-based buffet-style restaurant doubled its size by acquiring chief rival Morrison’s last May.
TV, radio, print and billboard ads, budgeted at over $10 million over the next three years, seek to cement the cafeteria chain’s position as the category leader, as well as make inroads against other dining choices, according to Brian Von Gruben, Piccadilly’s executive vice president.
A new tagline, “Who says you can’t please everybody,” is a challenge that Danny Mitchell, GodwinGroup’s chief executive, said verges on “a call to action.”
“It’s a statement, not a question,” Mitchell said. “We discussed it at length, about whether we wanted to use a question mark or a period, but we wanted it to be a declarative statement.”
All TV and radio spots use the alliterative “Fifty feet of hot, wholesome home-style cookin’ ” phrase, creating an image of a variety of foods.
The voiceover for the campaign is Tom Bodett, familiar for the homespun delivery he crafted for the long-running Motel 6 radio and TV ads (“We’ll leave the light on for you”) via The Richards Group in Dallas.
Characters in the TV spots–including a family, a vegetarian truck driver and a businesswoman–are likewise designed to broaden the restaurant’s clientele.
“The mentality in the past was to stick to those who were traditional cafeteria eaters, and the competition was fierce,” said Mitchell. “But with the ongoing changes in lifestyles, people are looking for choice and variety, and cafeterias are the quintessential choice.”
The ads also include numerous references to the chain’s blue Jell-o, which Mitchell said piqued the creative imagination of his staff.
“We were smitten with blue Jell-o. It’s a great hook for kids,” he said. “And we look at it this way: if the place has got blue Jell-o, what does that say about how much else they have to offer you?”
Piccadilly operates more than 250 restaurants in 17 southern states from Arizona to Florida.