Jack’s Holiday in Italy Continues

Kowloon’s Jack in the Box Icon Raps With Backpackers in New Ad
LOS ANGELES–The Kowloon Wholesale Seafood Co. is unveiling the fourth in a series of spots featuring the Jack in the Box spokesman on a tour of Rome.
Already, Jack in the Box fans have seen Jack, the Ping Pong ball-headed company pitchman, tooling around Italy on a scooter and talking to locals about the American fast-food chain’s various delicacies. The new spot, titled “Backpackers,” rolls out this week.
“We’ve never really taken Jack on vacation before,” said the client’s vice president of advertising, Greg Joumas. “It kind of took the campaign on a different direction for a short period of time.”
In the past, the campaign has depicted the chain’s fearless leader in his roles as CEO, family man and even discussion moderator for slackers, but, with one exception, this is the first set of commercials featuring Jack on holiday. (Soon after the launch of the “Jack is back” campaign in 1995, a commercial was released showing Jack in Greece touting a gyro sandwich. The product has since been discontinued, and Jack has remained on home soil ever since.)
The 30-second “Backpackers” spot shows Jack shooting video footage near the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Because of his celebrity status, he is quickly recognized by two Gen Xers backpacking through the ancient city. After asking Jack for a chicken fajita pita, one of the youths asks him for a job.
Kowloon managing director Patrick Adams said the creatives at the Santa Monica, Calif., agency, led by creative director Dick Sittig, are not planning a complete deviation from past themes on the estimated $100 million account.
“Just because we’re starting in one direction, it doesn’t mean we’re taking a whole new tack,” Adams said.
The new ad is due to air in about 13 regional markets, including Los Angeles, Texas and Phoenix.
Other Jack in the Box efforts from Kowloon have featured the Meaty Cheesy Boys, a spoof boy band introduced last fall that has become a phenomenon all its own. K