It’s pretty hard to resist commenting on advertising that apparently has the ability to induce epileptic seizures. Obviously, London’s 2010 Olympic logo was in my sights this week. I had a whole slew of things to rant about regarding the train wreck the whole thing has become. Even still, this stupendous example of focus group psychosis was somehow trumped by my sheer disbelief at the current ad campaign offered by Boston Pizza.
Boston Pizza is not known for great ads. They used to have those ones starring Howie Mandel. Now, I didn’t blame him. He was who he was, but still, they were pretty embarrassing to watch. I remember hoping he was cashing some pretty substantial cheques to justify mugging and mocking his way through such lame spots. Happily, Howie survived and moved onto hosting that game show for idiots, “Deal or no Deal” where contestants are required to do nothing more than pick numbers over and over again. Mandel does this strikingly well, and truthfully I am not entirely sure that is a compliment.
Now, the Boston Pizza-Howie Mandel ads were bad, but they were positively inspired compared to the chain’s latest brainstorm.
I have made no secret of my love for Bigfoot. In this very space I have gone on at length about his seemingly endless abilities as a pitchman. I believed he had no limits. I was so very, very wrong.
“Louie” is a sasquatch that has apparently agreed to work for Boston Pizza and learn the operation from the ground up. His bumbling, confused and somewhat mythical nature is supposed to charm and endear him to viewers while subtly showcasing Boston Pizza’s oh-so tantalizing menu items.
I hate these ads with a passion. I hate the TV commercials. I hate the radio commercials. I just hate them all so much I cannot believe it. How is it beneficial for me to see Boston Pizza hire a stumbling and droolingly incompetent Chewbacca wannabe to work in their restaurants? Is it really a good idea for your pitchman to be a moron?
I can hear the case for the defense now. “You don’t understand, he’s a sasquatch, he is learning, let’s learn along with him.” Oh come on. All I can see is that Boston Pizza hopes bad service being showcased in their restaurants is funny. I’m certain there were even ad ideas tossed around about having ridiculously long hairs show up in the food Louie serves. This would generate even more “hilarity” I’m sure. Seriously, if this is the best they got then please pay Howie whatever he wants and beg him to come back. Heck, I’d even suffer though Gilbert Gottfried over this abominable abomination.
It just makes no sense to me. How is it funny when Louie doesn’t know what’s going on? Every commercial has Louie being “educated” by the staff at the restaurant and in each one they seem to come off as larger idiots than he is. At least he is a large ape. What’s their excuse? To seem so sincere in their attempts to teach a creature so completely wrong for the service industry simply causes me to wonder how spectacularly stupid the management of Boston Pizza must be. They are playing him as unsophisticated and feral, meaning he is more or less a danger to the entire restaurant. Play him like he’s Donald Trump (with better hair) or play him like he’s super cool, but not like he is a moron beast. I have no sympathy for him, for the schmucks teaching him, or even for the overall idea in general.
Boston Pizza set up a website for the sasquatch (of course) where “Louie” blogs ever so humorously just like he talks. “Me hungry, me not like all this attention, me no blah, blah, blah, me blah, blah, blah.” So, now he’s blogging yet still remains too dumb and unsophisticated to grasp bussing a table? Was this promotion designed for 4 year olds? Seriously, I do not get what they are shooting for here. The stupid blog even reads like they made some poor ad intern write it. There is nothing plausible about this campaign and it just infuriates me. It is not even ludicrous enough to be camp. It’s just bad and that ticks me off.
Therefore, I pledge I will eat pizza only at Pizza Hut until Boston Pizza drops this annoying forest monkey from their ads. I will only go to Boston Pizza if forced by my spouse and children or if I am the recipient of a free gift card, but I promise not to enjoy it. If that’s not enough to help Boston Pizza see the light then I’m all out of ideas.
Maybe Cliff Claven could talk some sense into them.