Rainn Wilson and Little Caesars are both in the Super Bowl for the first time this year. And they went big for the Big Game—really big.
“I mean, we had a stuntwoman riding an ostrich,” Wilson told Adweek. “Nothing says Super Bowl commercial like someone riding an ostrich around the set. It was nuts.”
While Wilson has done a few other commercials before, he’s best known for his role as Dwight Schrute in The Office. And some of that absurd, time-wasting corporate shenanigans-style humor carries over quite well to this project.
Little Caesars’ Super Bowl spot debuts the brand’s new delivery service. The budget pizza chain has offered its famous $5 Hot-N-Ready pizzas for carryout only for the last 20 years.
Bookending the spot are scenes of Little Caesars delivery drivers arriving at peoples’ homes to delighted customers exclaiming that the brand’s new service is “the best thing since sliced bread!” Which is bad, of course, for sliced bread. And even worse for the CEO of Sliced Bread Corporation, played by Wilson.
The arrival of Little Caesars delivery causes havoc at Sliced Bread HQ. The CEO is melting down. Ideas pitched to save sliced bread from its inevitable demise spiral out of control—Travel-size bread? Sparkle bread? Bread insurance? Magnetic bread?—but nothing seems to be able to turn the tide.
As things devolve at Sliced Bread Corp., we witness its CEO smashing things, sobbing in his car and pouring an entire pitcher of water on himself during a board meeting. At one point, he just stares blankly into the camera with a flaming loaf of bread in hand. Behind him, a frenzied woman rides by on a fast-moving ostrich.
Hold up. An ostrich at a bread company? What’s with that?
“My theory would be: They’re such an old-fashioned company,” Wilson said. “Maybe they have a little zoo. They have a little zoo in the courtyard for their employees to visit as a perk. You know, as an extra perk.” Sure.
Wilson was on set shooting the ad for two days, and incorporated a good amount of improv into the script. In the scenes where Wilson’s character is really losing it—talking to himself in the bathroom or muttering on the floor, surrounded by slices of bread—”I’m always going to improvise,” he said.
By the last scene of the spot, it’s clear that sliced bread has lost. When the door opens to another Little Caesars delivery person, there he is—the Sliced Bread CEO, working for the very company that ruined his business.
But given Wilson’s history, we wondered: What would Dwight Schrute have to say about all this?
“Dwight Schrute is all about survival of the fittest,” said Wilson, guessing that Dwight would probably endorse the disruption of the sliced bread industry. “It’s time for Little Caesars to thrive,” he said. “It’s social evolution, you know, on a corporate scale.”
Dwight would also likely come to dominate the pizza delivery service, he said, gathering a little “fleet” of his own drivers. “I think Dwight would rise to the top.”
And as for the other characters from The Office? Wilson thought maybe Kevin would make an “excellent” Little Caesars deliveryman. Creed, too.
Little Caesars created the spot in partnership with its creative agency of record, McKinney, which won the account last fall. It’s a “big turning point” for the brand, said Wilson, and “a blast to be a part of.”
A 30-second version of the ad will run during the third quarter of the Super Bowl.
For all the latest Super Bowl advertising news—who’s in, who’s out, teasers, full ads and more—check out Adweek’s Super Bowl 2020 Ad Tracker. And join us on the evening of Feb. 2 for the best in-game coverage of the commercials anywhere.