The Gelato Spot Copies Stingray Sushi and Puts Up Presidential Campaign Signs Around Town, Owner Insists It's About Politics -- Not (Relatively) Cheap Advertising

Categories: Hahnefeld, News

gelatospotvotead.jpg
Phoenix New Times
Valley residents driving around town last week may have noticed some unique signs in areas used for promoting candidates for this year's election. Instead of ads for President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney, the signs noted a showdown between Mint "The Chip" Romney and Ba "Rocky Road" Obama. The company behind them? The Gelato Spot, a locally owned, four-store mini-chain in the Valley.

"This isn't an excuse for marketing gelato," says Tommy Plato, who co-owns The Gelato Spot with parents Don Plato and Mei Lee. "It's something I'm interested in. It's personal."

Plato tells me that getting folks out to vote on November 6 is something he's passionate about, and he developed the idea as a way to get people involved in the election.

But the idea didn't come about all on its own. Plato says he was inspired by another restaurant's political ad campaign signs -- one that most of us are familiar with: that of Stingray Sushi.

StingraySushiMittBit.jpg
Stingray Sushi
Created by Jason Rose of Rose, Moser and Allyn Public Relations in Scottsdale, the signs show Suzy Stingray, the restaurant chain's Japanese anime character, alongside sayings like, "Obama cares about our sushi" and "Mitt bit my sushi."

Plato, who is friends with some of the people at Stingray, said he thought the campaign was creative but wanted The Gelato Spot to take a different approach.

"They put one candidate on each sign so some people may think they're biased. We didn't want to do that," Plato says. " And their humor is different than ours. We just wanted to play off the names of the flavors."

Like Stingray, The Gelato Spot formed a federal political-action committee (PAC) called Locals for Gelato of Tempe to be able to legally place the signs.

And although Plato tells me the cost of starting a PAC is zero, the action for a restaurant to do so is not without risks. In a recent article, the Republic reported that Phoenix spokeswoman Stephanie Ribodal Romero said that although the signs are legal due to being election signs from a PAC, Stingray has obviously "found a loophole" under city and state regulations for political signs.

So why aren't other restaurants doing it?


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10 comments
boingo
boingo

Doesn't the fact that Jason Rose's name is attached to this tell you everything you need to know?

BenKatz
BenKatz

Can we please ban this shit already please?!

80018111
80018111

I really, really don't think either of these signs will generate one bit of business.

AZFood
AZFood

Personally - I find the signs manipulative and based on pure marketing stupidity - especially the signs for Stingray. I realize they are trying to be clever and funny, but why on earth would you alienate 50% of your potential customer base by political positioning?   Most people won't see the flip side of the sign.   But most of all, it's just adding to the eye-sore of political signs that line our streets for the benefit of nobody except of the business owners and so-called "creative" agency that came up with this idea. 

QstionEvythng
QstionEvythng

""This isn't an excuse for marketing gelato," says Tommy Plato, who co-owns The Gelato Spot with parents Don Plato and Mei Lee. "It's something I'm interested in. It's personal."  Right....So why is the Gelato Spot logo 3 times the size of the date of the election.  Don't be a bullsh***er.  You think it is a clever way to advertise, its legal and you decided to use it.  Don't try to lay some line on us that "getting folks out to vote on November 6 is something he's passionate about."    If that were the case then the word "vote" would be front and center and there would be no logo.  I don't care about the signs one way or another (found Stingray's cute when they first came out the last election cycle but find them stale now), but I do resent being lied to about the motivation. 

JKGrence
JKGrence

The reason Plato hasn't seen a negative reaction from anyone is because those people see the eyesore signs and vow to never darken the business's doorstep again. I already don't understand the allure of either place. In my humble (but correct) opinion, both of them are bottom of the barrel in their respective categories, having built a successful business on paying more for marketing than for making a quality product.

 

Tommy Plato, if you're reading this, you can stick your signs where the sun don't shine. 

tiredofthisgarbage
tiredofthisgarbage

Seriously!!?? He doesn't think people are going to get aggravated about this? thomasp@gelatospot.com is a jerk.

 

 

Susie Timm
Susie Timm

I saw them in LA this weekend too...so frankly I think we are copying other cities. And by "we" I mean Stingray's PR firm.

FunFeetGal
FunFeetGal

@ChowBellaPHX We aren't over saturated as it is, let's have restaurants get in on the action and post even more signs. I don't like it.

Jon Lane
Jon Lane

This has been done in a few major cities so I don't know if they're just copying stingray or if they are copying a trend!

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