Content Marketing Done Right

Bertucci's Content Marketing

Hats off to Bertucci’s (of all places) for shooting this really compelling pre-roll ad. Think about this. The ad runs for about 2 minutes as pre-roll. Now, because YouTube is smart, they let me click off after about 5 seconds, but Bertucci’s started with something funny and out-take-like at the VERY BEGINNING that set a tone (which, by the way of my only complaint, never really stayed in that vein of funny). I watched the whole commercial, which ended up being tips on how to handle herbs at home.

What did I take away? I found myself thinking, “Huh, so Bertucci’s wants me to realize that they have real chefs and that these people are food professionals, and I got all that. But what I really love is that they made me the hero, by teaching me how to deal with herbs at my own house.”

That’s what I thought.

See the whole commercial here:

Can’t see the video? CLICK HERE

To me, there’s a lot of value in picking apart what Bertucci’s is doing here. But also interesting, note that YouTube lets me +1 a pre-roll advertisement now (which I did). That’s interesting. I bet that will really get some play, should YouTube actually send people those metrics in reports. Don’t you agree?

What do you think? Am I giving them too much credit? I think they’re onto something here. runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Theme Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Whether you're a novice or advanced developer, Genesis provides you with the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

With automatic theme updates and world-class support included, Genesis is the smart choice for your WordPress website or blog.

Become a StudioPress Affiliate

  • Jeff Korhan

    I learned something.  All this time I’ve been using the stem when working with cilantro, parsley, and the like.

    In my mind, that piece of useful info makes Bertucci’s memorable. 

    And what else is there to marketing than being memorable? 

  • Teresa Capaldo

    I agree with you Chris, that Bertucci’s is onto something.  I didn’t get the humor, but as someone who is not comfortable in the kitchen (because my Italian husband loves to cook and has that covered) this sort of video is a good learning tool.  As you say, “the hero in your own house”.   

    I think it’s another branch of connecting with your audience, and restaurants shouldn’t be any different than creative entrepreneurs, personal coaches, private businesses, or people selling material goods.  In fact, I am really inspired by this and want to see what else is out there.

    It will be interesting to see how this platform evolves in the near future.

    As always, Many Thanks!

  • Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Chris,

    Making you the hero, yep, they are on to something. Using humor always a plus too. Lightens up the audience, puts you at ease, instantly, and allows you to soak in the message.

    Content marketing done right makes you forget that marketing is taking place. Moves you to a different place. Neat, when done very well.

    Thanks for sharing Chris :)


    • Chris Brogan

      We agree, RB. Thank YOU. 

  • Amani Channel

    I didn’t make it through to the end. But what I liked was that they were speaking to the home cook.  Someone who may be interested to learn about the subject.  The talent easy to watch and listen too, and the video was well produced.  One of the reasons why this wins is because it’s informational.  Hmm I may follow up with a post, now that you shared it. :)  

    • Chris Brogan

      Exactly so, Amani. It wasn’t written for top chefs, nor was it for “stupid dads” or whatever. It was for people who cook. : ) 

  • Harriet


  • bsoist

    Absolutely they are on to something.

  • bsoist

    Absolutely they are on to something.

  • Charles H. Green

    I think it definitely makes sense. And anyone smart enough (as apparently Bertucci’s is) to make such a good ad will be hip to the numbers. 

    Smart work by YouTube!

  • Bob McCarthy

    Chris –


    Maybe I’m missing something. 
    This is a nice piece of video – simple, well produced, informative, a
    good example of content. 


    But I don’t see anything remarkable about it.  I don’t get your point that Bertucci’s is “onto


    It seems to me I see these types of videos all the time. 


    Furthermore – and this may be due to my shortcomings – I don’t
    understand what you mean by “pre-roll” and that whole YouTube/+1
    discussion.  Could you elaborate?

    • David Bourne


      Pre-roll means it’s an ad that is played before the main video. The one you came to watch. YouTube has recently increase their use of ads before videos.

      One big deal is that the ad is skippable. We have come to hate interruptive ads like this (especially on the Net), so a Skip button is very smart on YT’s part. They have given us more control. It’s less interruptive. 

      The Skip button also changes the content. The video had better be good at the very start or folks will skip it. This is true for any web video, really.

      The Plus One button means that we can rate it via the Google+ social media system. This encourages better ads. Companies will want more pluses, which could increase their chance of views and shares.

      In the end, this ad is another chunk of content marketing that helps the  customer “know like and trust”  the company.


      • Bob McCarthy


        Thanks for the explanation. 
        I didn’t realize we were talking about the ad that preceded the
        video.  This all makes sense to me

        I guess the message is that even the ads need to be content
        driven, not promotional – if you want to maximize your views. 

    • Chris Brogan

      I’ll start with the last part first. 

      When you watch a YouTube video, you can +1 the video. But NOW, you can +1 the AD separately. It’s pre-roll because that ad when *I* saw it, played before someone else’s video. The link I gave you was to the direct video, but when I saw it, it was “preroll” on someone else’s video. 

      What’s remarkable? I don’t see tons of examples of companies giving me useful how to information that isn’t directly about their product or service that often. If you do, that’s awesome. To me, Bertuccis is getting something right by doing it this way, and I do NOT see many other companies doing that. 

  • JPTaboada

    This is absolutely the kind of commercial within the realm of marketing and advertising that I like.  Tell an interesting story or teach me something. Take those steps and I’ll know who I can go to in the future for better and more information in the future. Thanks for the post Chris.

  • Diane

    Very informative and well-done – not at all ad-like which is refreshing!

  • Matches Malone

    You’re not wrong. The fact that they got you to watch the whole ad should be considered a win for them, although, I do agree that they should’ve hired me to punch up the comedy throughout….

  • Basingstoke Yoga

    You are right. Most ads on You Tube are forgettable or targeted at the wrong person so you can’t wait to click “Skip”.

    But some are worth watching. A correctly targeted product of an ad with a great intro. But how many advertisers don’t think about this?

    • Chris Brogan

      Realize, too, that I was going towards content that had NOTHING to do with this. I mean, it makes it double good that I watched it. 

  • Daniel Decker

    I like. The started off with something different and lead into something useful. But, I’m a big fan of the Value Proposition that content marketing brings. Instead of selling with a megaphone, sell with value by giving value. 

    • Chris Brogan

      That’s how I took it. : ) 

  • Brad White

    Awesome ad! Thanks for the post Chris.

  • Anthony Dellecave


    I also like what they have done, but I am not sure that they are “on to something” more than good marketing.  They are creating compelling content that they feature on their website and repurpose it across the digital ecosystem in a smart way.  This helps set them up as an expert source in good home cooking and food prep, will likely draw more people to their website that may not have ever visited it and lead people to consider Bertucci’s in the future.  

    I think they are also smart in understanding the 5-second youtube “rule” and thereby doing something interesting to open each piece of video content to keep people curious beyond those precious first, few seconds.  Then they drive it home by providing valuable information without heavy-handed branding.  They could have easily had the chef repeatedly say things like “here at Bertucci’s we…” but they smartly resisted, and have better content for it.  

    The thing I wonder about is how they are targeting the videos, or if they are at all.  Have you been looking at food/cooking content a lot lately that could have led to you seeing this or was it completely random?   

    • Chris Brogan

      I doubt they’re targeting. I mean, who’s the target audience? Families, I’d presume. Families who spend around $95 for 4 people at dinner. Something like that. Beyond that, I don’t know how much restaurants do that. 

  • Joseph Putnam

    Grabbing customers attention by teaching them something they don’t know but would like to know how to do. Content marketing at its finest. Well done, Bertucci’s.

  • Joseph Putnam

    With the below comment said, the intro doesn’t fit with the rest of the video. It makes more sense to launch straight into the video without any introduction. I’m not sure the outtake at the beginning is necessary because it’s out of place with the rest of the video. It’s an interesting experiment, but I don’t think it’s necessary.

    • Chris Brogan

      I agree that ultimately, the beginning bit didn’t matter. It didn’t hurt it to me, though. I just felt it was mismatched. 

  • Chris Brogan

    That’s really interesting to think about, Marshall. Content marketing at scale. Or will it be something like Ze Frank’s show? Will we just watch whenever fun new nuggets come out? 

  • Jennifer Fong

    I liked this a LOT as a pre-roll ad. I usually find them intensely irritating, so to see content marketing used in this context is refreshing. I agree, they’re onto something. Thanks for sharing as always Chris!

  • Pingback: Content Marketing Done Right | Attraction Marketing

  • Hosting

    Awesome post! Surely this info will help the people. Thanks a lot for sharing with us.

  • Marc Ensign

    It was ok…didn’t knock me off my seat and I never made it to the end, but the idea is there.What I did like about it was that it’s a sign that companies are really getting creative with their social media. They aren’t taking their TV commercials and just transferring them over to the web like many have been in the past. It’s refreshing to see companies big and small thinking outside of the box!

  • Tommy Walker

    They’ve got something good going on here. That they were able to keep you hooked for that first 5 seconds shows that they are aware of the medium they’re using too. 

    The question I have is what were you searching for that this was your pre-roll?

    This sort of highly targeted pre-roll ad is the perfect hybrid of content and ppc marketing so long as the search targeting is on point.  

  • Pingback: MistakesThat Content Marketers Should Avoid - BrightAuthority

  • The Content Marketeer

    Showing useful skills in a non-sales-y manner is pretty remarkable for a mainstream brand so kudos are definitely due. They’re offering up content that just about anyone interested in food with an average level of skill around the kitchen would be interested in. Well done. 

  • Thomas Vanhoutte

    The commerical got my attention, yes.

  • SGS mediasoft

    Awesome post! Surely this info will help the people. Thanks a lot for sharing with us.

  • Pingback: : How your service department can learn from an Italian restaurant

  • Paul Widegren

    Very informative and well-done

  • Cassie Witt

    Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t find the “outtake” part to be particularly funny. In fact, if I hadn’t clicked through to specifically watch it, I probably would have skipped it after I saw that.

    That said, I am suitably impressed. Here’s why. Most companies (that aren’t in the content marketing business for a living) don’t take the time to put together a video that’s full of helpful content. Most companies also don’t have the balls to put out content that might be seen as “hurting” their brand. Now, I don’t necessarily think that the content will hurt their brand, but I know of many marketers and advertisers that would. 

    Let me explain. Someone watching this video might take their advice and use it to cook better italian food in their own home, rather than going out to Bertucci’s to eat. This is a mind-set I’ve come across quite often, and, in fact worked directly under someone who thought this way. It made my job as a social media manager incredibly difficult, because it meant that the content I wanted to put out would be replaced with content that was all about the company. However, content marketers have shown, time and time again, that this strategy works. At the very least it shows “good-will” on the part of the company, and at the very most, drives sales, because Bertucci’s will now be seen as having a human side. The human side of the business is where psychological barriers start to break down and customers feel more like they’re “connecting” with a brand and less like they’re being “sold to”. 

    Also, putting a video like that as an ad, rather than a normal ad is very inspired. I bet they will probably get them more views of their video than what most advertisers get. In fact, it’s so good (minus the first part, in my opinion) that I wonder if people will forget that it was an ad. Maybe they’ll just remember it as another video they watched that day. That would be a serious win for Bertucci’s.

    Oh, and being able to +1 an ad? Seriously?! That’s awesome! I wonder if Bertucci’s knew about this when they decided to run this video as a pre-roll ad?

  • Bob McCarthy

    Okay, let me go out on a limb here …

    What would be wrong with having a more traditional ad here (assuming
    you’re able to get the viewer past the 5 second mark)? 

    What would be wrong with Bertucci’s having a professionally
    produced ad showing off its new menu, décor, staff, etc. and including a call
    to action? 

    Even if the metrics showed that a traditional ad had a
    higher rate of abandonment, there’s something to be said for a more direct
    sales pitch. 

    This how-to ad is well done and informative – and should generate
    some good will – but a straight ad has merits of its own.  And direct response ad could produce
    immediate results.

    I understand the readership here is more focused on content,
    but content is only part of the puzzle.    

  • Chris Nadeau

    Eduvertising :-)  

    I love this.  Bertucci’s brought value to my life and educated me all in a 2 mins. ad. 
    How?  Now I know how to store herbs and cut them like a pro.Next time I am thinking of Italian food…guess where I might go out to eat???  Well maybe not, since we don’t have a Bertucci’s in Canada :-)

  • Alex Ribble

    I like how you mentioned what he said got your attention right away. Same with a blog. If you are coming up to a new blog for the first time, you are only going to start reading a few lines of the most recent post. If it’s not interesting, you are going to move in. That is why content is so important!

    • Facebook Development

      Well said Alex really nice .

  • kate clarkson

    Very interesting and informative ad. Since it draws the viewer in immediately with the blooper and then moves right into educational info, it seems that it would be less likely to get skipped by the viewer. It would be very interesting to see the ad metrics on whether this is getting skipped as often as other ads.

    Its well produced too, and makes me think dishes that include each of those herbs…and maybe even some that I’ve eaten at Bertucci’s.

  • seo training mellbourne

    great! interesting article 

  • Pingback: Content Marketing Done Right – Bertucci’a Educational Pre-roll |

  • Aditi Datta

    Yes, this article is really very interesting and informative too. Content should be written in a unique style and ideas should be new. That’s what I think is the main objective of  a well written content. Content Marketing is also very important and should be done in the right way. Thanks for the share. Really very informative post.

  • Freelancer

    Good example. This video is a short lesson, thanks for sharing.

  • sina

    Windows 7 Product Key

  • Pingback: What’s in your 2013 Marketing Plan? | Raleigh Web Developer