Great Moments In Commercial History: Uncle Otto's European Eatery

Reader Ben writes:

Dear Consumerist,

Here is a commercial for Achim’s K-Bob, a restaurant in Downtown Athens, Georgia that sells kebap, a type of German sandwich. The food there is actually quite good, but their commercial is laughably bad. This was one of the first local commercials I noticed when I moved to Athens last summer and if you ask anyone who’s lived here long enough they’ll be able to sing the song for you. Achim’s recently changed their name to Uncle Otto’s European Eatery, a name that is apparently more conducive to franchising. Don’t worry, though they changed the lyrics to the song and the commercial still airs almost completely unaltered.

We believe Ben that the food is good. Sort of. The guy in the suit doesn’t touch the sandwiches, does he?

If you’d like to nominate a commercial for our weekly series “Great Moments In Commercial History” send us an email at tips [at] consumerist [dot] com. Be sure to put “Great Moments In Commercial History” in the subject. To see other commercials that have been featured in the series, click here.

Comments

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  1. mcoplin says:

    Oh wow! I can’t believe someone posted this on The Consumerist! Achim’s (now Uncle Otto’s) was my favorite place in Athens when I went to UGA. Despite the bad commerical, it’s really good :)

  2. feralparakeet says:

    I moved to Athens last summer as well, and I get that stupid jingle stuck in my head every time I go anywhere near that end of Broad St or drive past it. Thankfully, I switched to a satellite dish after getting sick of Charter’s horrid service, and I no longer suffer through seeing it on TV constantly.

    I also hear that they actually do have good food, though I’ve never been. The commercial really put me off of the place.

  3. Wubbytoes says:

    Wow, I would totally eat there.

  4. awall25 says:

    I absolutely love this commercial.

    When I first moved to Athens 3 years ago, I worked from home, typically with the tv on, so I used to see this ad all of the time.

    As others have said, the food is pretty good. I go there sometimes just to get the fries, which are usually very good.

    K-bob K-bob.

  5. goodkitty says:

    That was actually a superb commercial that smacks of someone who knows what they are doing. Talk badly of the song if you will, but the background compositing was excellent and the overall effects were great, showing that whatever corn was present was there intentionally, just like those horrible Quiznos creatures. I’m not sure I’d eat at Uncle Otto’s (since the ad doesn’t even mention the food), but I sure would watch his commercial.

  6. andros says:

    Incomming nitpick:

    Kebab, kebap, k’bob, cevap or whatever else you might want to call it, is as much a ‘german sandwitch’ as sushi is italian.

    In reality, kebab is a middle-eastern (arab/turkish) specialty dish made with minced lamb and/or beef meat, usually formed into short sausage-like sticks and grilled.

    Only reason anyone might claim it is german is for the number of muslim, particularly turkish and bosnian immigrants in some parts of Germany who brought this type of cusine over there decades ago and made it rather popular among the german masses.

    Ig you want to know more…

    [en.wikipedia.org]

  7. Falconfire says:

    was just going to say thats corn for corn sake myself. Even the winks and nods hint at the fact that the guy knows he’s being a jackass and loving every lounge singer minute of it.

  8. That’s an awesome ad.

    I already have it stuck in my head.

  9. SybilDisobedience says:

    Agreed. This isn’t laughably bad, it’s laughably-so-bad-its-good. These people are definitely aware how incredibly, incredibly corny this ad is. It’s dripping with smarmy charm!

  10. homerjay says:

    I will not watch it again for fear of never getting that song out of my head again. Still, thats an ad that gets some friggen attention!

    Nice.

  11. YES!!

  12. bpotterr says:

    @SybilDisobedience: “Reader Ben” here. I think “laughably-so-bad-it’s-good” is what I meant by “laughably bad.” Smarmy is, I think, a good word to use.

  13. Goghdawgs says:

    Uncle Otto’s as others have pointed out used to be called Achim’s K-Bob (for about 5 or 6 years) but another restaurant (in New Mexico I think) had trademarked a similar name or something so Achim (the owner, Achim Reus) had to change the name.
    It was one of my favorite restaurants and different from anything in Athens at the time. Achim never claimed the sandwich as “German” but that it was popular in Germany. His wife taught music at the Univ. of Georgia and he had been a member of some famous ensemble in Germany before moving the the U.S. If you’ve been there I guess you’d know that the commercial is intentionally cheesy and the jingle is meant to get stuck in your head and/or arouse interest. The name Otto also has a place in Georgia mascot lore.

    I loved the place and go there (now Otto’s) whenever I’m back in Athens

  14. godawgs7 says:

    Man i love Uncle Ottos. So sorry I had to leave Athens. Maybe they’ll get a franchise in ATL!

  15. feralparakeet says:

    @Goghdawgs:

    I know, I know, but that doesn’t make it any less irritating, dammit!

  16. Goghdawgs says:

    @feralparakeet:

    I see (uh, hear?) how it would be irritating. When I was there Locos and some car dealership were similarly irritating. Don’t avoid it though, the place is wonderful. I recommend the Feta or Black Olive dipping sauce for the fries.

  17. bpotterr says:

    @Goghdawgs: Those sauces are both excellent. I prefer the feta myself.

  18. jeffeb3 says:

    somehow that guy reminds me of john arbuckle. I don’t know why….

  19. Chairman-Meow says:

    My eyes…..MY EYES!!!!!!!!

  20. KarateMedia says:

    This commercial was actually produced by Radar, an Athens production company with years of experience and numerous clients in the Athens/Atlanta area. Longtime Athenians may remember that the two men behind Radar also helped produce Box Office Banter, the local movie review show featuring Ballard Lesemann and Paul Trudeau.

    I don’t know them personally, but was always aware of them professionally (being the creator of the occasional very-low-budget local commercial myself), and have always considered this team to be some of the more talented folks in the area. They used to have a website, but it’s no longer up — perhaps they folded recently, or changed names?

    As for the song, IIRC it was written by a K-Bob loving customer, and Achim asked Radar to create an ad around it. It was a great idea, because it quickly became a well-known and talked about spot.

    K-Bob’s is definitely one of the things I’ve missed about Athens since moving. Achim was always an incredibly friendly guy. I’m glad he’s still in business.

  21. E-Bell says:

    I just wanted to comment that there is no way that a “kebap” is a German sandwich, but I’ve been beaten to it.

  22. KarateMedia says:

    Finally found Radar’s website again. Not sure how the name escaped me:

    [www.radarproductions.com]

    Click on “restaurants” at the bottom and you’ll find the original K-Bob spot, complete with a few shots of Achim’s mug.

  23. Jayus says:

    Oh, wow. I live Athens and i really dig Achim’s. Posting a comment is making me crave a kebap. The black olive and red pepper sauces are delicious.

    I think the guy the got for the commercial should be a permanent fixture at the restaurant. Kebaps AND a lounge singer? Heaven.