I've been around a few microphones in my life, and I've been a part of my share of media campaigns, from traditional to digital. Do you know what I've found to be the most successful? The kind of ad that describes how the product connects with you by telling a passionate story.

Do you happen to remember the iconic TV commercial for Prince spaghetti that was filmed in the North End of Boston more than five decades ago over the Labor Day weekend in 1969? It featured a young Anthony Martignetti, running through the narrow streets of Boston's Italian neighborhood. His mother leaned out of their apartment window, boisterously calling, "Anthony! Anthony!" and the narrator let you know that most days Anthony would take his time going home but not today, because "Today is Wednesday, and as every family in the North End of Boston will tell you, Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti Day."

That spot won top honors and a Clio, but most especially it won over our hearts, and it created generations of loyal customers for the Prince spaghetti folks.

Monday morning, Anthony Martignetti's brother announced that Anthony had died suddenly in his sleep at 63. I'm at a loss for words. My condolences to all his family and to the generations of loyal spaghetti consumers, our family included.

Whether you're a marketing major or just an everyday shopper, one of the takeaways here is what Anthony stood for. His boyish portrayal holistically drew us in and amplified Prince's spaghetti strings that tugged at our hearts.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app