Eataly’s New Campaign About Italians

I was an early adopter of Eataly, and I worked above the first Manhattan location for over five years. I've eaten and shopped and consumed many times over, but to be honest I've never noticed the advertising. That's probably because the advertising was very much product and location focused, and pretty much in-store.

Well not anymore.

Just recently brand Eataly launched a new campaign that lots of people are noticing. Not necessarily for all the right reasons. And in a way, the new campaign is communicating as much about Eataly as it is about Italians as it is about its founders.

Here's a poster that appeared in the storefront window, but the campaign was featured in multiple outlets...

And that one was just one execution. There were others...
- "Bring Home an Italian, Great Legs, Better Body" for wine
- "Bring Home an Italian, The New Hunk in Town" for salami

Many weren't happy about the stereotypical references to Italians or the campaign's sexual overtones. And many weren't happy with the timing based on co-owner Mario Batali's recent issues. Especially since he referenced a recipe for Cinnamon Buns in his apology.

My point here isn't to critique the campaign or anybody, but to learn from the feedback that the campaign has gotten. Brands need to be conscious of how consumers are feeling about issues happening in their worlds. They need to be conscious of how their marketing activity fits in with other parts of their business and their activities. They need to be conscious of what reactions they may get as a result of their communications.

I always say, "Marketing is a spectator sport," so we should all learn from each other. 

What say you? What's your experience? JIM