Siltanen/Keehn Creates ‘Latin Lover’ for Rubio’s

LOS ANGELES Siltanen/Keehn introduces a Mexican marionette named “Rafael” in its first advertising for Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill.

One television spot breaking today for the quick-casual Mexican restaurant chain touts Rubio’s Fajita Fiesta event and introduces a fajita platter. In the commercial, Rafael goes back into the kitchen and interacts with the cooks as they prepare the new menu item.

Rob Siltanen, creative director at the agency in El Segundo, Calif., described the marionette as a “Latin lover” and a “charmer” with a lot of personality. He added that Siltanen/Keehn presented the character in its creative pitch to Rubio’s. The shop won the account less than a month ago following a review.

The spot will air in San Diego, Los Angeles and Phoenix. The promotion is expected to run for at least six weeks.

The marionette will appear in a second TV spot that will air at a later date, the agency said. The campaign, which is meant to give Rubio’s a distinct personality in the marketplace, will also include radio ads.

Campaign spending could not immediately be determined, but the San Diego-based client is expected to spend $3 million on broadcast advertising this year. Media is handled by Mediaspot in Corona del Mar, Calif.

Rubio’s, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, operates, licenses or franchises 144 restaurants in California, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, Utah and Nevada.