Upon further research, I learned that this tradition of borrowing the talents of Italian cinema for Barilla commercials goes way back to the 60's and includes artists like Federico Fellini and Mina. The new spots feature Favino in everyday stories, which highlight the features of Barilla's new products. Filming began in May of last year at Barilla's headquarters in Parma, and the campaign hit the airwaves in September. I stumbled upon a spot when I was searching for something completely unrelated. What a nice surprise!
Here are a few of the spots, plus one of Fellini's from the 80's. You can see more by going to YouTube and searching Pubblicità Barilla Pierfrancesco Favino.