For Shells Seafood, Life’s a Beach

By Katy Eckmann

ATLANTA–Beach movie camp of the 1960s served as inspiration for Shells Seafood Restaurants’ new advertising campaign, created by Voodoo Inc. of Tampa, Fla.

Breaking in Florida spot markets last week, two television commercials promote the dining chain as an indoor version of what tourists and residents like about Florida: sun, fun and seafood. Both spots feature beachgoers dancing and cooking seafood by the surf. A narrator with an Annette Funicello-like hairstyle watches over the scene from the corner of the screen.

‘For years people have been coming to Florida to let down their hair, kick up their heels and eat some great seafood,’ the cheery narrator says in one spot. ‘We took the idea and put a roof on it.’ She ends both spots with the client’s new tagline: ‘Eat at Shells. Real seafood.’

Voodoo Inc. president and owner Doug Hardee explored all things Florida when concepting the TV spots, from fishing documentaries to movies like Beach Blanket Bingo and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini. ‘There’s something to that energy (of the ’60s),’ said Hardee, who wanted the era to carry over into the music. So he commissioned the Fleshtones, a New York-based alternative rock band, to compose two surf-like instrumentals for the commercials.

Hardee, creative director, art director and writer on the campaign, worked with writer Nanette Tuason, producer Sarah Fader, and directors Jane Shirek and David Gottlieb.

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