Amy Sedaris Cares Deeply About Napkin Etiquette in Hilarious Vanity Fair Campaign

America's favorite host breaks out the kitsch

That's a big pour. - Credit by Vanity Fair / Georgia Pacific
Headshot of Shannon Miller

The role of the host is not one that should be taken lightly, especially around the holidays. Little details matter and a knowledgeable host understands, for instance, that a plain paper towel might suffice for a casual game day tailgate, but may not be the best touch for a festive gathering. Sometimes you have to break out the good stuff.

In this case, the “good stuff” is Vanity Fair’s Extra Absorbent Everyday Casual Napkin—yes, it’s quite the moniker. A new, hilarious campaign from creative agency Wolfgang stars Emmy-nominated comedian Amy Sedaris, the all-knowing hostess who understands the importance of both presentation and proper absorbency.

In what will eventually be a four-part series, Sedaris, offers much-needed insight for aspiring hosts while demonstrating the impressive performance of the Everyday Casual Napkin. In the first spot titled “Get Together,” her intense passion for the finer details really manifests when unsuspecting friend Toby hands her a roll of paper towels, a social faux pas of the highest order.

The second ad, “Guests,” may have taken some of its cues from Sedaris’ hilarious 2006 guide to entertaining, “I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence” and her show “At Home With Amy Sedaris.” A comically huge pour of Chenin Blanc (also known in some quarters as an “Italian Wedding Pour”) sets the stage for a payoff that is classic Sedaris kitsch and nudges ever so close to the line of social acceptability.

Are these entertaining measures a little extreme? Not from Sedaris, who once suggested that a pound of butter is the best hostess gift you can give. But to be fair, these are some great napkins—and if you’re going throw a party, why not put your best foot forward? Sedaris, a natural enthusiast for cooking and hosting, would likely agree, making her the ideal fit for Vanity Fair’s latest campaign.

“She delivers that enthusiasm with just the right humor, quirkiness and self-awareness that modernizes the brand,” says Mike Geiger, co-founder and CEO of Wolfgang.


Client: Georgia Pacific
Agency: Wolfgang
Production Company: Caviar
Editorial: White House
Post: Carbon VFX
Sound/Mix: Lime Studios

Join the foremost brand marketers, such as Marc Pritchard, Brad Hiranaga, Kory Marchisotto and more, for Brandweek Masters Live on Sept. 14-17. Secure your pass and learn from the brand masters.

Shannon Miller is a writer, podcast creator and contributor to Adweek.
Publish date: November 28, 2018 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT