Johnsonville Dreams Up Its Own Version of Santa Claus to Celebrate Bratsgiving

Droga5 presents Carl the Great Bratsgiver


        Meet the Santa Claus of sausages, Carl the Great Bratsgiver. Johnsonville

If a day dedicated to bratwurst—titled Bratsgiving Day, of course—had its own character, as Christmas has Santa Claus, it would be Carl the Great Bratsgiver.

Dreamt up by employees at Johnsonville, Carl spreads joy across the globe on National Bratwurst Day (also known as Bratsgiving Day) by spreading delicious products to brat lovers everywhere.

Johnsonville and agency Droga5 wanted to turn National Bratwurst Day (celebrated on Aug. 16) into a true holiday where foodies could break out the grill one last time before the end of the summer and share some quality time with friends and family. This year, Johnsonville threw a special celebration in Kansas City to celebrate and introduce Carl, the ultimate embodiment of Bratsgiving Day, to the world for the first time.

While Johnsonville has been celebrating Bratsgiving Day for three years now, the team felt that it needed something or someone to build its celebration of the holiday around.

"We realized there wasn't really a back story or lure to Bratsgiving so we thought it would be really fun this year to create that using the members as the people who make the story up," Scott Bell, group creative director at Droga5, said. Johnsonville invited some of its employees to brainstorm a new character that represented the spirit and fun that comes with Bratsgiving Day.

"Every year we want it to feel more and more like a real holiday. When you see Carl the Great Bratsgiver out, it becomes a little more real just how Santa Claus becomes a little more real every time you see him out at a mall," Bell said.

To help accomplish that, Johnsonville and Droga5 created an illustrated children's book—The Legend of Carl the Great Bratsgiver, which is available to read online—detailing the lore of the character, from what he wears to the heart-shape sausage tattoo on his chest. Just as you would read a book about Santa Claus around Christmas or the Easter Bunny around Easter, Johnsonville wants families to open up Carl's book on Bratsgiving Eve for years to come and share the joy of Bratsgiving Day with future generations.

"Carl is going to be the character that makes everybody's Bratsgiving Day wishes come true. We expect him to be a centerpiece of our Bratsgiving program for years to come," Jamie Schmelzer, integrated marketing director at Johnsonville, said.

At this year's Bratsgiving Day celebration, held at a YMCA in Kansas City, kids were treated to a reading of the picture book, while Johnsonville rolled out its massive open grill, one of the largest in the world, for Carl to cook up some brats. Johnsonville donated all money raised from the event to the YMCA.

Client: Johnsonville
Campaign: Carl the Great Bratsgiver

Agency: Droga5 NY
Creative Chairman: David Droga
Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
Group Creative Director: Scott Bell
Associate Creative Director: Chris Colliton
Associate Creative Director: Kevin Weir
Junior Copywriter: Gabe Sherman
Junior Art Director: Gage Young
Executive Design Director: Rob Trostle
Design Director: Rich Greco
Designer: Julia Gordon
Chief Creation Officer: SallyAnn Dale
Executive Producer: Scott Chinn
Associate Broadcast Producer: Jenna Allchin
Head of Interactive Production: Niklas Lindstrom
Executive Interactive Producer: Tasha Cronin
Associate Interactive Producer: Alyssa Cashman
Social Producer: Alice Tam
Head of Art Production: Cliff Lewis
Senior Print Producer: Rick Gutierrez
Junior Art Producer: Nichole Katsikas
Senior Retoucher: John Ciambriello
Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
Group Strategy Director: Aaron Wiggan
Senior Strategist: Marc Iserlis
Group Communications Strategy Director: Brian Nguyen
Communications Strategist: Kevin Wilkerson
Data Strategy Director: Lily Ng
Group Account Director: Julia Albu
Account Director: Pat Rowley
Account Supervisor: Kate Tyler Monroe
Associate Account Manager: Camille CheeksLomax
Project Manager: Rayna Lucier

Client: Johnsonville
Group Marketing Director: Ryan Pociask
Integrated Marketing Director: Jamie Schmelzer
Creative Director, Brand Communications: Anthony Rammer
Senior Director of Marketing: Ron Schroder
PR and Social Media Manager: Stephanie Dlugopolski
Shopper Marketing Manager: Stephanie Plehn

Production Company: D5 Films
Director / DOP: Brian Lannin
Line Producer: Sara Vander Horn

Editorial: D5 Studios
Editor: Nick Ljubicich
Studio Coordinator: CJ Trahan

Post Production: D5 Studios
Sound: Sonic Union
Mixer: David Papa
Animator: Jeremy Johnstone
Illustrators: Marc Burckhardt, Dan Craig