Fallon Revisits First Campaign for Long John Silver’s

Dancing Midgets as “Little Cravings” Garner Mixed Reviews
CHICAGO–Fallon creatives are at work on new executions for Long John Silver’s after the shop’s first work for the fast-food chain, which shows dancing midgets in pastel body suits, was met unfavorably by some franchisees.
“We’re going to go back and relook at [the spots],” said Charlie Thomas, vp of creative and promotion at the client. He said the company wants to “evolve” the Minneapolis shop’s “little cravings” theme.
“We’re not sure how to best represent that positioning,” he said. “Do we want to go forward, or do we want to readdress it in some way?” Fallon’s TV spots for the Louisville, Ky., company have midgets dressed in yellow spandex outfits, which carry dish names such as “Shrimp Basket,” representing the “little cravings” people have for Long John Silver’s. In one ad, the craving clings to a man’s leg as he dances in a bar.
Restaurant officials signed off on the campaign, but Thomas said some franchisees were not pleased with the execution. “In storyboards, everyone had a different idea of what the cravings were going to look like,” he said.
Fallon president and creative director David Lubars brushed off the notion that the account was somehow creatively adrift. “We have a strong strategy around little cravings, and we thought we would do a few different executions to find out what works best,” he said.
The spots are currently being test-run in Kentucky; the next round of test ads will rely heavily on food shots, Lubars said. The “little cravings” positioning is close to White Castle’s “What you crave,” strategy by J. Walter Thompson, Detroit–a reason Fallon is taking extra care to nail a creative strategy, Lubars said.