Pillsbury “Heels”

“There’s no place like home,” Dorothy chants in the Wizard of Oz as she closes her eyes, clicks her heels together and hopes to find herself back in Kansas. It’s a sign of how people’s expectations have inflated over the years that the characters in this Pillsbury spot (via Saatchi & Saatchi, New York) click their heels in hopes not merely of getting home but of finding some fresh-baked croissants when they get there. A press release from the client explains that people are now eating at home more often, due to the economy, but don’t want to feel this means they’re sacrificing quality of life. This is the sort of concept that could have been turned into a leadenly literal-minded commercial. Let us tip our Dorothyesque bonnets to the agency, then, for instead having given the campaign’s “Home Is Calling” theme an imaginative touch. Focusing mostly on the wistful wishing of people who are away from home at the moment (on a rainy sidewalk, on a factory floor, on a subway, etc.), the spot manages to be warm without seeming sappy. We get just a brief dose at the very end of a family gathered around the dinner table (and the croissants), and that’s enough.  –-Mark Dolliver