It’s a Chef Boyardee “par-dee” with Donny Osmond & L’il Yachty



This is what happens when I’ve been away for l’il (see what I did there?) bit.

Sooo, if you’re ConAgra and you haven’t dropped any dough on your 90-year-old Chef Boyardee brand in say 5 years and you want to connect with today’s audiences, what do you do? What do you do?

Apparently, you turn to AOR Havas and start a throwback “par-dee” that features an unlikely pairing 60-year-old crooner Donny Osmond (Marie’s bro) and popular hip hop artist, 21-year-old Lil Yachty. You simply throw them on the auto-tuner and start singing about Chef Boyardee’s “Throwback Recipe” series.

Let’s get real for a second. Chef Boyardee isn’t on many millennial radars. While the brand ain’t dead, (last year’s sales were about $455.1m according to Ad Age and IRI data), it ain’t killin’ it either. Canned meats just don’t show up on most shopping lists these days.

Havas’ entertainment network, Annex, tapped into its relationship with Capitol Records who helped pair label mates Lil Yachty and Osmond. It’s the agency’s first brand work coming out of its relationship with Capitol Records, in which the Vivendi-owned companies collaborate on ideas, including ways to connect brands and artists.

So do these two connect? Yes.

The two connect in a bizarre, “Am I really watching this?” kind of way. I mean, you have Osmond (of “Puppy Love” fame) dancing it up in the kitchen, sitting on a 6-ft can of Chef Boyardee with Lil Yachty and the two riding a roller coaster against obvious green screen. Brothers Ettore “Hector” (he’s the chef in the brand name) Mario and Paul Boiardi who started Chef Boyardee in 1928, must be bubbling in their tomato sauce graves. But enough talk, let’s watch this throwback recipe directed by Prettybird’s Calmatic:

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Did you catch the “air guitar” on the huge fork?

“To a younger generation, they have no idea what the brand is, what it means or anything. They’ve lost probably two generations of relevance,” says Jason Peterson, Chief Creative Officer, Havas said in a statement. “We need to create something that creates hype and frenzy.”

Last month, Havas also announced in Ad Age the expansion of Annex into Los Angeles with a new office, called Annex Tower Creative, located in Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood. This alliance is the first of its kind between a US creative agency and an American record label, and it will allow for cross collaboration between brands and artists across CMG’s multiple record labels.

The video and shorter clips will be promoted online, while the song is set to pop up on Pandora and Spotify.

So what do you think? Does the pairing work? Does anyone care? Post your thoughts below.

Par-dee over here!

Client – ConAgra/Chef Boyardee

Agency: Havas/Annex
   Chairman / CCO, N.A: Jason Peterson
   Creative director: David Muniz
   Managing Director: Amy Merchant
   Head of Content N.A: Dave Evans
   Executive Producer : Brigette Whisnant
   Director Of Business Affairs: Bonnie Hamilton
   Account Director : Kristen Vandenberg
   Group Strategy Director: Michelle Gerstin
   Strategy Director: Michael Fair
   Assc. Creative Director: Bob Waltzer, Jay Berry
Copy Writers: Eric Yohnka, Rick Hickey, Victoria Lee

Production Company: Prettybird
   Director: Calmatic / Annex
   Executive Producer: Ali Brown
   Line Producer: John Sepulveda

Editorial Company: Studio 6
   Sr. Editor: Nem Perez
   Editor: Jake Osmun
   Executive Producer: Lauren Shawe
   Audio Engineeer: Todd Beee

Music Composer, Company:
   Lil Yachty – Start the Par-Dee feat. Donny Osmond
UMG / Capitol Records

Contact Colin Costello at or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.