Ex-Paddy Power PR chief kicks off new agency with Meat Loaf film for Frankie & Benny's

Former Paddy Power Betfair 'PR and mischief champion' Lewis Davey has announced the launch of his new agency - which devised the recent video for Italian-American-themed restaurant chain Frankie & Benny's new vegan menu starring rock star Meat Loaf.

Ex-Paddy Power PR chief kicks off new agency with Meat Loaf film for Frankie & Benny's

Called Idea Farm, the agency had a soft launch in June last year. Davey described it as an "ideas-first creative consultancy", which is "working with a cohort of brilliant industry talent to deliver work for clients".

Its clients include other brands owned by Frankie & Benny's parent company The Restaurant Group, along with Gymbox and Photobox. Idea Farm is also doing white-label work with other big agencies, he said.

As "PR and mischief champion" at Paddy Power Betfair – a role he held for the 16 months to September 2017 – Davey oversaw several of the betting firm's typically headline-grabbing campaigns. More recently he was a director at branding and content agency Tenth Man, working alongside Ken Robertson, a former "head of mischief" at Paddy Power.

Idea Farm devised the Frankie & Benny's video (below), which shows Meat Loaf being asked by his team to rebrand as Veg Loaf to launch Frankie & Benny's new vegan menu.

The restaurant chain is offering 50 per cent off vegan mains until 31 January to support the Meat Free Monday campaign.

The script, creative and production for the video was handled by Lucky Generals.

Davey said: "Landing your first big piece of creative work with a global icon like Meat Loaf is as rock 'n' roll as it gets. We're big fans of the power of unlikely alliances between brands and talent, and we're delighted to have delivered this one for Frankie & Benny's. Credit to our clients at TRG for being brave and ambitious enough to do it – and it was a pleasure to team up with brilliantly talented team at Lucky Generals.

"Hopefully this is the start of a big 2020 for Idea Farm."

Elise Ash, director of strategy & brand at Frankie & Benny's, said: "We wanted to encourage diners to swap Meat for veg this January, so who better to sign up than one of the most recognised artists on the planet? Funnily enough, our new video isn't far off the original real-life pitch to Meat.

"While we couldn't convince him to rebrand to Veg Loaf, we're delighted he's the headline act for our new vegan menu to help spread the word on the benefits of tucking into our meat-free dishes. Credit to the guys at Idea Farm and Lucky Generals for bringing this campaign to life – we love it."

Separately, Meat Loaf has been in the news in recent days following a Daily Mail interview in which the Bat Out of Hell singer denied climate change and said teenage activist Greta Thunberg has been "brainwashed" into believing in it.

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