Little Caesar - Diminutive toga-clad Roman wearing sandals and a laurel
wreath who portrayed the corporate mascot for the Little Caesars pizza
franchise - one of the world's largest pizza chains. The slogan for the company
is "Pizza! Pizza!" which the Little Caesar character recites quickly. The slogan
originated when the company advertised their ”buy one, get one free” concept
namely "Two great pizzas! One low price. Always! Always!"
The vocal talent behind the trademark "Pizza! Pizza!" catchphrase was
supplied by advertising guru Cliff Freeman who took over the LC ad account in
1987. Jackson Beck, the voice of Superman on radio supplied voice-overs for a
number of Little Caesars spots).
In the 1990s, Cliff Freeman and Partners, an award-winning New York City agency
created a number of memorable TV commercials for Little Caesars (as well as the
classic "Where's the Beef" ad campaign for Wendy's). On May 17, 1990, Freeman
summarized his creative missions for the Los Angeles Times saying "Not much
advertising touches people. We try to create ads that enter their souls -- and
The company's 1991 LC spot entitled "High Chair" featured a little girl sitting
in a high chair who grabs onto the tautly stretched piece of Mozzarella cheese
from a slice of pizza and is then slingshot throughout the house to end up in
the arms of her grandparents on the other side of the house.
In 1995, in the spot "Training Camp" that touts Little Caesars new delivery
service, we see a training camp somewhere in the Gobi desert populated with
determined pizza delivery trainees. Motivated by the screams of a drill
sergeant, they learn how to how to walk up and down stairs, knock on a door
("Bell, knocker, hand,"), say "Pizza, Pizza!" close a car door with a kick, and
maneuver through an obstacle course of lawn sprinklers and mechanical dogs.
In 1999, the Little Caesar character turned 40. To celebrate his mid-life
crisis, the Bozell Worldwide, Southfield, Mich. created a new campaign titled
"The Big 4-0," The spot begins with the LC character driving an older car.
Suddenly a young blonde pulls along side and says. "Nice car, pops." Feeling his
age, the embarrassed LC quickly trades his old car for a sporty red Dodge Viper.
He then encounters the same blonde, who notices not only his new car, but also a
pizza on the car seat. This time, she accepts a ride.
Over the last few decades, the Little Caesars pizza chain has gone through a
number of ups and owns . A few year ago, in an effort to save money, the company
"tweaked the ingredients (added frozen the cheese) to get things cheaper,"
according to Mike Scruggs, Little Caesars’ Senior Vice President of Global
Operations Despite cost savings, their frozen cheese substitute was difficult to
thaw and didn't taste as good. Luckily in early 2001, Little Caesar Enterprises
Inc. switched back to its original cheese recipe and business picked up.
Other changes to create a better product included redesigned stores, dough made
fresh daily at each store, and a new Kidz Krazy Bread, where flavored pizza
dough comes in various colors (blue and green Parmesan). Also a new
certification program for managers, now requires franchisees to put their
employees through the program to get their license.
The privately-held Little Caesars company is based in Detroit, Michigan, It was
founded Mike and Marian Ilitch who opened their first restaurant in suburban
Garden City, Michigan in 1959.
In 2004, Ilitch Holdings, the owner of Little Caesars Pizza, announced the
appointment of Christopher Ilitch to President and Chief Executive Officer.
Ilitch assumed all responsibilities that previously were shared with his sister
TRIVIA NOTE: In the classic crime drama film Little Caesar (1930) Edward G.
Robinson played a man who rises through the ranks of organized crime only to be
killed at his zenith of corruption. His dying words ask the question "Mother of
Mercy! Is this the end of Rico?"
Of course, the "big" Caesar was Gaius Julius
Caesar (100-44 BC) the ruler of the Roman empire. He was killed on the Ides of
March (March 15) by a pack of angry politicians who each thrust a knife into
their Emperor's body. Caesar's famous last words (in Greek) to Brutus were "Et
tu, Brute? ("and you too, child?"). Brutus, of course, being Caesar's supposed
friend and supporter.