Two Icons Pair Up for Buca di Beppo’s First TV Ad

In the midst of defending Buca di Beppo’s $4 million advertising account, Kerker has created the restaurant chain’s first-ever television work.

A 30-second spot that breaks this week in Minneapolis and In di anapolis uses grainy, scratchy film to look as though it was shot by a restaurant employee. Two hand-held replicas of famous statues—the Venus de Milo and Michel angelo’s David—ban ter on their way to a table. (One line from Venus is, “You don’t have to twist my arm.”) There, they are served an entree from Buca’s “Per Due” menu.

The spot continues to tout the company’s restaurants as comfortably priced neighborhood Italian joints, said Chris Preston, creative director of the Minneapolis shop. “They call themselves a collection of neighborhood restaurants,” he said. “We wanted to reflect that feel.”

The “Per Due” items are intended to be shared by two. Though the Minneapolis-based restaurateur has made its name serving large groups with family-style portions, it is trying to increase traffic by appealing to couples, Preston said. If the spot is deemed successful, it will likely air in more markets, he said. Buca operates nearly 90 restaurants in the U.S.

In June, Kerker broke radio and outdoor ads targeting couples for the “Per Due” offerings. The campaign parodies the overwrought imagery and prose of romance novels.

Buca had contacted approximately 15 agencies about the assignment and is now down to finalists. A decision is expected by November.

Lane Schmiesing, Buca’s svp of marketing, was not available for comment on the review or the television spot.