Pizza Knight to the Rescue for Calif. Eatery

LOS ANGELES Independent WongDoody has introduced its first work for Round Table Pizza, launching a quartet of 30-second spots this week in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

Ads play off the chain’s name and introduce the Pizza Knight, a nerdy figure in full-body armor awkwardly struggling through high school and family homelife scenarios. Ultimately, he succeeds as a defender of family pizza at Round Table restaurants. Radio spots narrated by the character are also in the mix.

The new tagline is a double entendre, a family chorus declaring, “Long live Pizza Knight.”

“Everybody had medieval ideas, but it was a matter of what was going to play best into the ongoing strategy of families and pizza and joining those two worlds together,” said Tracy Wong, chairman and ecd.

“The Pizza Knight play on words is overly simplistic, which is nice,” said Wong. “If you can own ‘Pizza Night,’ that’s great.”

The $20 million account shifted to WongDoody’s office here following the demise of independent Maiden Lane in San Francisco, which won creative chores in July in a review that included WongDoody as a finalist. Maiden Lane closed less than three weeks after winning the business and produced no work for the brand.

Renae Scott, CMO at the Concord, Calif.-based company, said she connected with WongDoody’s “strategic positioning of maintaining our focus on families.”

Wong said that Maiden Lane also pitched a medieval character and there were common creative themes, but that the Pizza Knight character evolved during the production process into a contemporary comic figure. “One of the nice things about that Pizza Knight is that suit of armor. He’s a man in a can,” said Wong. “So we can put any words into his mouth.”

Pal 8 Media, Santa Barbara, Calif., handles Round Table media.