Bartle Bogle Hegarty is spoofing the TV series Dallas in its debut
advertising for Bertolli olive oil with a commercial which switches the
action from Texas to Tuscany.
In the ad, the Ewing family of the original series are replaced by the
fine-living Bertolli family, dubbed "the olive oil barons of Italy".
The advertising comes at the start of a significant push behind the
brand by Unilever Bestfoods, which wants to encourage consumers to think
of olive oil as they would wine.
The 40-second spot breaking nationally on Monday parodies the
well-remembered split-screen opening and theme music of the 80s saga of
dynastic civil war.
The long-running series is regarded as the most influential soap of all
time and, at the peak of its success, drew more than $2.3 million
an hour in ad revenue for CBS.
Russell Ramsey, creative director on the Bertolli business at BBH, said:
"Dallas was the most famous TV programme in history and it gave us the
perfect link between oil production and family."
Traditional Tuscan instruments playing the Dallas theme set the tone for
the commercial in which a camera sweeps across the Tuscan landscape and
the Bertolli characters are introduced - Sergio the patriarch, his
homely wife Maria, their dashing son Carlo and beautiful, tearaway
The film was produced by the BBH creative team of Marc Hatfield and Pete
Bradley and directed by Sheree Folkson through Upstart Films. Media
buying is through Initiative Media London.
BBH won the international account for Bertolli in April in a pitch
against two other Unilever roster shops - Ogilvy & Mather and
The win set the stage for Bertolli's launch as a global brand and marked
a major extension of the relationship between the UK shop and
The 136-year-old Bertolli brand, which claims to the world's
best-selling olive oil, was introduced into British stores in May. The
range comes in five flavours.