Wavemaker Creates First Contextual Ad for Dr Oetker Ristorante in Romance-Themed Tie Up with C4’S ‘First Dates’

Real-life romance features in a new campaign for Channel 4 and Dr Oetker Ristorante, developed especially for the hit Channel 4 show First Dates.

The campaign - created by Wavemaker, which also brokered the multi-platform content partnership between the broadcaster and pizza brand - is designed to reignite romance amongst Ristorante pizza-lovers, using a real-life contemporary relationship to challenge outdated brand perceptions.

At its heart is a 40-second ad and two 20-second versions, which reminds viewers about the importance of making time for romance. The idea is to position Ristorante as the ultimate pizza for a special weekday date night in.

Featured in the ad is Durham based Dom who surprises his NHS worker wife Amy with a surprise First Dates dinner at home. The real-life couple’s lives are so busy they’ve yet to go on their honeymoon.

During their date, Dom and Amy are served by Maître d’ Fred Sirieix, who appears on the First Dates TV show and at the ad’s end, the couple speak candidly about their evening in the same style as the show – straight to the camera. Wavemaker has also created social assets featuring the same couple, who were found after a nationwide social media casting call.

The ads are being backed by a First Dates co-branded pack promotion where a viewer can win a holiday to the hotel where First Dates is filmed. A dedicated website for the campaign was also created by Wavemaker.

Dr Oetker Ristorante’s First Dates campaign breaks today, October 29. It will run across TV, social, digital and on-pack for six months with a Valentine’s Day refresh in February 2019. Brand tracking research has been commissioned with Channel 4 post-campaign to measure its success.

Beth Smith, Partnership Director at Wavemaker Manchester, said: “The Wavemaker team saw a growth opportunity in reigniting romance, creating the ultimate date night in on behalf of Dr Oetker Ristorante Pizza. Finding the perfect pairing with Channel 4, we have showcased a sprinkling of real-life romance, alongside First Dates talent to create a heartfelt contextual ad.”

Jane Hector-Jones, Group Partnerships and Content Manager at Channel 4 said: “Dr. Oetker Ristorante Pizza wanted an authentic and warm articulation of romance that resonated with real life in the UK. In response to this brief and in collaboration with Twenty Twenty, we’ve developed a campaign that brings together the inimitable First Dates brand, Ristorante Pizza, and a real-life romance to celebrate the little kindnesses that can mean so much. “

Josephine Skinner, Senior Brand Manager at Dr. Oetker, commented: “We are delighted to be working with Channel 4 and First Dates. The Ristorante brand offers an authentic and relatable Italian pizza experience for couples, perfect for a romantic date night, any night!

“We were blown away by the response to our call-out. We were told to expect around 500 entries so 6,000 responses is fantastic – there are clearly a lot of people out there who would appreciate a little romance!”