New Ad Campaign From Legal Sea Foods Covers Some Uncharted Territory

Famed Restaurant's Latest Work To Include TV, Print, Radio, Out-of-Home and Digital - Some Found In Unusual Places

Jul 27, 2012, 07:00 ET from DeVito/Verdi

NEW YORK, July 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Long known for its mouth-watering fish, the famed Boston eatery Legal Sea Foods has also succeeded recently in getting tongues wagging with its humorous – some say over-the-top – ad campaigns.  And its latest effort is sure to get consumers talking as it features everything from paid obituaries to interactive gumball machines.

The new campaign, created by Legal's long-time advertising agency, DeVito/Verdi, kicks off later this week and runs well into the fall, with TV, print, radio, out-of-home and digital elements.


The new campaign begins with a simple print ad that offers its own take on the Christian fish symbol often found on car bumpers.  The ad depicts the familiar "sign of the fish," but with the word "Legal" written in the space created by the two intersecting curved lines.  The copy reads: "It's a religious experience."

This will be followed up with a second round of ads that won't appear in the obvious places.   These print ads take the form of a paid obituary of a fictitious person.  In each, it is reported that the individual would have lived longer had he or she gone to Legal Sea Foods to eat more fish.  One ad says that if the 92-year-old banker had heeded this advice he would have been able to tell his daughter where he had hidden the family fortune.  And if the 88-year-old grandmother had eaten more seafood she may have lived long enough to answer the call when the sweepstakes company arrived at her doorstep. 


And in a series of television commercials, the bonding and solitary nature of fishing is celebrated, but what is also revealed are the misfortunes that can also occur when spending hours alone with someone.  The spots carry the line: "It takes a long time to catch a fish.  Spend a little time with us."

One spot shows a boy and his grandfather fishing off a pier, but the four hours they've spent together are certainly their last.  Another spot focuses on a man taking his wife fishing for the first time.  Five hours later the constant chatter is too much for the man and his wife is apparently thrown overboard.  A third spot has two fishing buddies alone on a lake at sunrise.  One notices that the boat is taking on water.  Six hours later, the boat is gone and the familiar garble of water is heard.  The TV spots are set to begin airing in November.


In the continuing series of cheeky spots from Legal's president and CEO Roger Berkowitz, eight new radio commercials present his unabashed take on the appropriate response to those who fail to appreciate the need for eating fresh fish.  In these spots, boyfriends are told where they fit in the past-lovers' ranking; mothers-in-law are encouraged to walk off a pier; and wives are told that the dress doesn't make them look fat, it's the fat that makes them look fat.

To listen to the campaign, click on the following link: 


And to encourage more diners to checking in with Legal Sea Foods on Foursquare, DeVito/Verdi's digital team has created a gumball machine that dispenses a free gumball once you have checked in via Foursquare at the Kendall Square restaurant.

To see the gumball machine in action, click on the following link:

"This is one of the more complete campaigns we've undertaken in terms of media being utilized," said Roger Berkowitz, president and CEO of Legal Sea Foods.  "Once again, these are smart, funny ads that no doubt may make some waves with some people, but they certainly grab your attention and help communicate the freshness of our fish and the beauty of eating at Legal Sea Foods."


Legal Sea Foods was founded more than 50 years ago as a small fish market in Inman Square, Cambridge.  Today, President and CEO Roger Berkowitz leads the company toward continued growth and diversification. With 30+ restaurants up and down the East Coast, Legal Sea Foods has earned scores of honors and awards (its Clam Chowder has been served at every presidential inaugural since 1981), and proudly carries its well-earned reputation as the nation's finest seafood restaurant. For more information about Legal Sea Foods and its locations, please visit

About DeVito/Verdi

DeVito/Verdi, a privately held company, has been recognized as one of the most exceptional creative agencies in the industry.  Its lengthy list of industry awards includes the top prizes at the Clios, Radio Mercury, Cannes, Andy, Addy and One Show award ceremonies.

DeVito/Verdi is an idea-driven agency that employs traditional and non-traditional approaches to achieve creative excellence.  The agency has developed a strong digital expertise to broaden and complement its longstanding creative reputation.

The agency has been voted "Best Agency" six times over the last 12 years by the AAAA, and has created some of the most memorable ad campaigns of the past 20 years. DeVito/Verdi strives for excellence and maintains a unique level of prestige within the advertising industry, as evidenced by its work for such clients as Kohl's, Legal Sea Foods, North Shore/Long Island Jewish Health System, The National Association of Broadcasters, Daffy's, Sony, Canon, Duane Reade Drug Stores, BMW, Varian Medical Systems, Esquire Magazine, Men's Wearhouse, TimeOut Magazine, Grey Goose Vodka, EPC Cigar Co., eCampus, SteinMart, Reebok,, Office Depot, Appleton Rums, Pepsi/SOBE, Corazon Tequila, Empire Kosher Chicken, Acura, Massachusetts General Hospital, Abington Memorial Hospital, CarMax, Sports Authority, For Eyes Optical and others.  For more information on DeVito/Verdi, visit

SOURCE DeVito/Verdi