Denny’s Real Serious Breakfast

Denny’s restaurant chain has launched “Thugs”, its first ever Super Bowl commercial, taking a humorous shot at its competitors’ “candy breakfasts.” Thugs is part of the Denny’s “Real Breakfast” campaign, continuing on from the politically flavored competition to produce an imitation of a Presidential candidate’s speech. In this new phase, cowboys and thugs are served pancake breakfasts drowning in sugary whipped cream, jelly beans and other assorted candy.

Pancake breakfast in Denny's Thugs commercial

Denny’s takes the bold move of offering a free Grand Slam on Tuesday, February 3, Grand Slam, 6 am to 2 pm. A Grand Slam consists of two eggs, two slices of bacon, two sausage links and two pancakes. This is serious stuff, suitable for mobsters planning their hits and cowboys contemplating their future. Burt Reynolds provides the voice over: “Isn’t it time for a serious breakfast?”


What could easily have been a scene from the Sopranos series turns bad with a squirt or two or three of canned whipped cream. A Martin Scorcese look-a-like starts the conversation, “I’ve got a feeling Benny talked….”

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Two cowpokes sit in a Pancake Heaven diner, considering their grim future. So is it appropriate to order chocolate doodiddles?

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Pancakes stacked with a banana to look like an octopus? Call that a real breakfast?

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The Real Breakfast campaign is designed to help Denny’s stand out from the competition, including IHOP (International House of Pancakes).

“We know there is stiff competition out there,” notes Mark Chmiel, Chief Marketing Officer, Denny’s. “So we are highlighting our points of differentiation…..real, serious breakfast that tastes great. Using humor, we are reminding breakfast lovers that we are the go-to restaurant for America’s best breakfast. The Super Bowl is the perfect platform that will allow us to do that.”

The Real Breakfast campaign will extend into print, radio, outdoor billboards, Internet, and in-store merchandising.


The Real Breakfast campaign was developed at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, by executive creative director Jeff Goodby, group creative director Jim Elliott, associate creative director Chris Toland, copywriters Brian Ahern, Will Elliott, copywriter/Art director David Kolbusz, art directors Mike Coyne, Croix Gagnon, head of broadcast production Cindy Fluitt, agency producers Jon Drawbaugh, Rob Sondik.

Filming was shot by Canadian duo The Perlorian Brothers, who are developing a following at Facebook. Production was done via Furlined, Santa Monica, with director of photography Robert D. Yeoman (who has worked on every Wes Anderson film), executive producer David Thorne, and producer Jay Shapiro.

Editor was Jim Hutchins at HutchCo Technologies, with assistant editor Joaquin Machado and executive producer Jane Hutchins.

Colorist was Stefan Sonnenfeld at Company 3 with executive producer Missy Papageorge.

Post Production was developed at Brickyard VFX by Flame artist Patrick Poulatian and executive producer Diana Young.

Original Music was produced by Dan Pritkin at Human Worldwide Music.

Sound was designed at 740 Sound Design by Eddy Kim and Andrew Tracy with executive producer Scott Ganary.

Sound was mixed by Rohan Young at Lime Studios with executive producer Bruce Horwitz.

Graphics were designed at Brand New School.