Jack in the Box Aims to Win Over 'Haters' in New Campaign

Jack in the Box Aims to Win Over 'Haters' in New Campaign
Published: March 18, 2024

Jack in the Box launched a new campaign over the weekend that aims to shift the public perception of its burgers.

Titled “Smash the Haters,” the fast-food chain released a 90-second spot that addresses negative customer reviews with humor and a taste test.

Created by TBWA\Chiat\Day LA, the ad features its mascot Jack Box conducting a blind taste test on people who have previously made negative comments about the restaurant.

Turning Haters Into Believers

The spot opens with Jack Box shown pacing behind a building’s warehouse window.

The text reads, “Undisclosed location, December 2023.”

The CCTV is then turned on, and a tray with a covered plate is rolled out and placed on a table.

One by one, “real Jack in the Box haters” sit down, as they are introduced with their names and a text quoting their negative reviews about the restaurant’s burgers.

“We call it Crap in the Box,” James' comment reads.

As each of the haters takes a bite of the burger, which is the new Smashed Jack burger, they all show how they’re enjoying its taste.

All of the reviews are positive, with each of them describing what they like most about the burger, as Jack Box watches them on CCTV monitors.

“Pickles with the cheese and onions, it just has a great combination with all those ingredients,” Israel commented.

However, when a girl started her review with, “Probably not the best that I’ve ever had,” the mascot quickly called someone, saying:

"Not the best. Yeah, she came in a white sedan, tow it.”

Said white sedan is then seen being lifted on a flatbed tow truck.

After Jack Box reveals himself to the haters, much to their surprise, the spot ends with him saying:

“One bite of my new Smash Jack is turning Jack-in-the-Box haters into believers. Don’t be a hater, try my new Smashed Jack.”

The Smashed Jack burger is the latest menu addition of Jack in the Box.
The New Smashed Jack Burgers | Source: Jack in the Box

Smashed Jack, Jack in the Box’s first new burger launch in eight years, had a quiet rollout in January.

It sold out just after two weeks on the menu.

"No marketing, no advertising, we just put it on the menus," Jack in the Box CMO Ryan Ostrom told Business Insider.

“We couldn't keep it in stock, we couldn't keep it on the shelves.”

Conducting the Blind Taste Test

Jack in the Box maintains the authenticity of its blind taste test, and Jeff O'Keefe, a creative director at TBWA\Chiat\Day L.A., attests to it.

“To find the Jack in the Box haters, we reached out to fast-food fans through a third party under the guise of market research and elicited comments about brands they do and don’t love, encouraging them to be specific,” O'Keefe told Muse by Clio.

“We made sure to cover our tracks, keeping the brand and our intentions secret the entire time,” he added.

And everyone involved was nervous. Because it’s a real blind taste test, no one can predict how the subjects will find the Smashed Jack.

“When the first hater walked in, we were all huddled in the control room holding our breath — even Jack,” Senior Art Director Jake Roberts shared.

“It was a huge relief when she took the first bite and loved the burger. Silent cheers all around. That set the tone for the rest of the shoot.”

Jack in the Box's "Smash the Haters" campaign takes a lighthearted approach to addressing negative perceptions.

While the blind taste test results are undeniably positive, it remains to be seen if humor and a single new burger offering will be enough to permanently shift public opinion.

Directed by Jonathan Klein, the ad also has a 30-second version. The campaign, which is also in collaboration with Small Girls PR, will run on OOH, radio, and social media platforms.

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