In a new broadcast TV spot for Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Colorado agency Integer Group, director and DP Brett Froomer of French Butter answers the burning question, 'Who puts fried avocado on a grilled chicken breast?'
Turns out it’s Zita M., a chef at Red Robin and one of the contributors to its new Burger Masters Series of gourmet hamburgers. A 20-year team member of the restaurant chain, Zita stars in a fifteen-second spot in which she proudly holds aloft her creation, Zita’s Chicky ‘Cado. The spot features luscious food photography showing the ingredients of this super burger being prepared, then closes with a shot of Zita herself, smiling widely enough to light up the entire set.
The ad is the second in a series produced by French Butter for the agency and client. The first, 'El Ranchero,' sets up the Burger Masters Series with an intro shot of a line cook topping off the burger and handing it to a server as the voiceover declares, “From the Red Robin kitchens and destined to be a breakout burger, the el Ranchero!”
We see the sandwich coming together as the items are cooked and layered, and the spot closes with its creator, Noel G. (a 21-year team member) displaying his work. Just in case the message is missed, a neon sign in the background spells out the word ‘yum.’
As part of the Burger Masters Series, the company challenged its employees to come up with innovative, mouth-watering burger recipes on their own, explains Brett, giving the beloved chain (with its memorable “Red Robin, mmm!” audio mnemonic) exciting new menu items to promote as the summer season kicks into high gear.
Shot on location in Red Robin restaurants, the campaign features actual employees. “This was a perfect assignment for us here at French Butter,” says the director. “It’s got people, locations, great food, lifestyle and performance – all the things we’re especially good at combining into one package.”
Relying on Brett's background as both a lifestyle photographer and live action director, the spots convey a sense of authenticity through their use of Red Robin employees, Brett adds. “There’s a real sense of honesty to their appearance in these ads,” he notes. “You can see it on their faces. That’s the kind of integrity we were looking for, and both Noel and Zita carried it off perfectly.”
“Kid you not – working with Brett and his team was seamless,” says Integer Group creative director Ross Snodgrass. “We’d see things on the monitor and he would come back after the shot and say, ‘Okay, I’m gonna try this.’ And then he’d go do EXACTLY what we were about to ask him to try. The dude knows food.”
The Red Robin campaign comes on the heels of recent French Butter projects for several iconic food brands, including Taco Bell, Thomas’ English Muffins and the West Coast-based In-N-Out Burger chain. “We’ve had a busy spring, and that’s leading into a busy summer, too,” says French Butter EP Ivo Knezevic.
“Our ability to handle both the live action and tabletop elements of food and beverage spots is registering with agencies and clients,” Ivo continues. “It’s the core of what French Butter has to offer: Brett’s great food imagery his natural feel for directing talent and creating appealing lifestyle settings, coupled with our flexible approach to production. It’s our recipe for happy clients.”