Rao’s New York is one of the oldest family-owned restaurants in the country, serving authentic Italian cooking on the Upper East Side since 1896. The 10-table establishment is notoriously hard to get into, even for the who's who of New York City. Fortunately, they’ve bottled their favorite sauces so the rest of us can experience the freshness and flavor of the Rao’s Homemade family recipes handed down through the generations.
For an outdoor ad campaign in NYC, Annabelle Breakey was tasked with bringing Rao’s Homemade to life in a way that honored the company’s nostalgic history and showed off the sauce’s wholesome ingredients in a fresh and playful way.
"Rao’s wanted to do a modern interpretation of their sauces, so they did this really cool splat. No plate, no nothing. One set of images was of the ingredients, and the other was of what you can make with the various sauces,” explained Annabelle.
The concept for the campaign was developed by Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners. The images appeared on huge posters around New York City.
It was a “tough” day in Annabelle’s San Francisco studio: The team was given a list of ingredients and a set of recipes to follow (available on the Rao’s website)—and they tasted them all.
“They’re super delicious and natural. The sauces are made with really good quality ingredients,” said Annabelle.
The ingredients are simple, but the splats—deceptively not so. The haphazard look requires a lot more work than the final image might suggest; the real challenge was not to make them appear too over-styled.
“I love the casualness and the immediacy of the images. And it’s just fun to do splatted food! In a world where you have to be so clean and tidy, it's nice to let loose once in a while and do something organic and pretty,” said Annabelle.
A big thank you to Suzee Barrabee and the team at BSS&P for the opportunity.