BBH's work for Bertolli olive oil spoofs Dallas

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

daughter Paola.

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.

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