Mellow Mushroom Pushes Drug Reference in Ads - The S3 Agency

Mellow Mushroom Pushes Drug Reference in Ads

“Clinically Proven” Campaign — Yeah, It Might Be THAT Kind of Mushroom…

With a name like “Mellow Mushroom,” a tagline like “Feed Your Head,” and a logo that features a stoned-looking cartoon dude eager to scarf a slice, this pizza restaurant chain built its brand on drug-based double entendre. So why shouldn’t their first major TV ad campaign push the drug reference to the next level? If you’ve ever eaten there, you know that their pizza is pretty addictive…

The campaign is called “Clinically Proven” – and the spots mimic pharmaceutical drug commercials. One ad takes the erectile dysfunction drug approach, starting out with an older couple walking romantically and a soft-spoken narrator stating, “You never know when the moment will strike, and when it does you’ll want to be ready…” The spot goes on to tell you that Mellow Mushroom offers a “more satisfying eating experience,” and more ED-like verbiage continues all through the 30 seconds. Subtitles like “Mellow Mushroom works within 5-10 minutes of ingestion.” keep the pharma “mood” going. The conclusion suggests that viewers ask their doctor about Mellow Mushroom because, “He may want to come with you.”

The addictively delicious pizza chain has never shied away from their drug-double-entendre branding. Now they're pushing it to a new level with their first TV commercials, done pharmaceutical style.

The addictively delicious pizza chain has never shied away from their drug-double-entendre branding. Now they’re pushing it to a new level with their first TV commercials, done pharmaceutical style.

Another “Clinically Proven” commercial channels on anti-depression drugs, proclaiming that Mellow Mushroom is “clinically proven to improve your mood and leave you with a full belly.” A legalese-esque subtitle informs the viewer, “We didn’t conduct any studies to back up these claims. Not even one.”

Whether or not I agree with Mellow Mushroom’s decision to create a brand rooted in ’60s drug culture, I absolutely applaud their determination to stick to their differentiation. Especially in our ever-more-litigious culture that has brands scared to say or do pretty much anything different. One thing is certain: you’ll never confuse Mellow Mushroom’s marketing with that of another pizza chain. And there’s something amazing to be said for that…

 

Denise Blasevick
Denise Blasevick
dblasevick@thes3agency.com

CEO @The S3 Agency

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