Erik S Leib Design
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LaRosa's Dream Decoder


The Dream Decoder social media campaign was designed to help LaRosa’s Pizzeria promote the launch of their new flatbread pizzas.


My role on this project was to provide art direction, storyboarding, illustration and motion design for the animated shorts used as paid ads on Facebook and Instagram.

LaRosa’s Pizzeria worked with Brunner to launch their new flatbread pizzas in the Midwest market. The creative direction was that flavors this bold and outrageous could only be something that was dreamed up. Our television spot focused on Mark LaRosa and his flavor experiments that lead to the discovery of this new menu item, and the four new flavor combinations.


Key Learnings

  1. LaRosa’s needed a fun way to drive sales and advertise these new products through social media that was also connected to the theme of the overarching campaign.

  2. It was important to create a content series versatile enough that assets could be used as both paid advertisements or unpaid social posts.

  3. Video content on both Facebook and Instagram was driving more engagements than static food images.


  1. Create a content series that related to LaRosa’s family audience in a fun and whimsical way, while expanding on the story of the TV spot.

  2. Produce 3–4 short animations of 10–15 seconds in length showing a dream sequence of Mark LaRosa that fans could use to guess the flavor combinations.

  3. Drive new sales of LaRosa’s flatbread pizzas through social media channels and client engagement.


Mark LaRosa is the face of LaRosa’s Pizzeria, and he personally works on creating new food items in the test kitchen with his staff. We would dive into Mark’s dreams by placing an illustrated version of him into dream sequences corresponding to the four flatbread pizza flavors available at launch (4-Cheese, Fiery & Sweet, Sriracha Steak, & Chicken Veggie).

This concept aligned with the story of our TV spot, but we also wanted to create a new and unique way to use video to drive engagement on social media. With that in mind, we decided to game-ify this process for our viewers by giving them quick glimpses of Mark’s dreams, and asking them to decode what they saw in the dream sequence to identify which flavor each animation represented.

I started with key frame illustrations from each flavor animation in order to introduce the client to the idea. Quick storyboards were then created to show how the key frames would be developed with motion, and once the client approved each short on paper, a final illustrated dream version of Mark LaRosa was created that would be featured in all 4 of our animated shorts.


The animations went through multiple iterations before we settled on the final product (below). Working within a tight social budget meant that I would be developing the art style, producing the illustrations, and developing the animations myself. In order to streamline this process, I built out the opening thought bubble sequence and the closing logo animation first, so we were able to determine how much actual time would be spent in the dream sequence and require animation.

The animated shorts were each released as paid ads as the new flavors became available in the Midwest market, and some continued to run as unpaid organic content after the introduction of the entire line was complete. Copywriting was provided that asked the viewers to identify each flavor combination, and direct links to order were attached to paid ads.



This series of animations drove over 3,000 individual flatbread pizza orders from click through on Facebook and Instagram with a minimal advertising budget.

The Fiery & Sweet Animation was the top paid piece of social content for LaRosa’s in the quarter. Out pacing the next best image post by over 60,000 engagements, and generating over 1,000 individual orders itself.


“I had an older lady approach me in the grocery store and ask me if I was the ‘Dream Guy’ while these videos were running.”

— Mark LaRosa