Johnsonville Just Made an Amazing Sausage-Themed Reality Show You Need to Watch

Recipes worthy of the Big Game

Here's something you never knew you needed in your life—a sausage-themed reality TV show brought to you by Johnsonville and Droga5.

The three-part series, titled Sausage Dome, is similar to competition shows you might see on the Food Network (think Chopped). Instead of weird ingredients in baskets though, Sausage Dome asks contestants to make a game day-appropriate recipe using Johnsonville sausages.

Each week features three competitors—most are Johnsonville enthusiasts who interact with the brand often on social media—with one winner per episode. Not only does the winner score a year's supply of sausages, but the winner's recipe will also be entered into Johnsonville's "Big Game Binder" recipe book and will be integrated into future Johnsonville print and digital campaigns. 

"You want to give each recipe time and a chance to be judged by the Sausage Six, but at the same time you don't want to overwhelm people with a million different recipes. We thought three was the perfect number and from those we could pick a champion and have one become an official sausage snack for the Big Game," Chris Colliton, Droga5 associate creative director, said.

The best part of the show though is that six Johnsonville employees, appropriately named "The Sausage Six" for the purpose of this competition, serve as the judges. There's Bob from sanitation, Sandy the receptionist and even Jarrod the smoke house operator.

The criteria to become a judge was pretty simple, too: be an employee at Johnsonville and have absolutely no judging experience. "They were great sports about it. We've got people from all different ends of our organization and watching them do it was really funny. They just kind of tasted it and said what they thought. It was no more complicated than that," Jamie Schmelzer, integrated marketing director at Johnsonville, said.

The Sausage Dome series isn't the first time Johnsonville members have made an appearance in the brand's marketing either. Last year, as part of the "Made the Johnsonville Way" campaign, employees of the company helped Droga5 come up with commercial ideas, and the end results were quite funny. Droga5 wanted to continue down this path in its latest work.    

Each episode runs around 10 minutes long, which at first, seems a bit much. Yet, for any fan of a competition-style reality show, Sausage Dome becomes somewhat addictive. You want to know what's going to happen next week. Who wins. Who loses. Who walks away with that massive sausage link necklace. Each episode even features a dramatically cut preview for the next episode, similar to something you might see at the end of an episode of The Bachelor.

While the campaign touts the Big Game, you won't see Johnsonville making an appearance during the actual game. As associate creative director Kevin Weir explained, on the day of, things are "already pretty cluttered and it's hard to get any attention." A three-part series made more sense, especially for a brand that's hoping people will purchase the product ahead of game day for any Super Bowl festivities.

"From a functionality standpoint that's when people are going to need to get their recipes in order for what they are going to make for their Big Game party. It's also just tough to compete on that stage and we don't really have to. A three episode reality show doesn't necessarily belong on the day of, it belongs in the lead up," Weir added.

Keep an eye out for two additional episodes of the show, which will roll out leading up to the Super Bowl on Feb. 5.

Client: Johnsonville Sausage
Campaign: Sausage Dome

Agency: Droga5 NY
Creative Chairman: David Droga
Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
Executive Creative Director: Scott Bell
Associate Creative Director: Chris Colliton
Associate Creative Director: Kevin Weir
Copywriter: Daniel Litzow
Art Director: Max Friedman
Executive Design Director: Rob Trostle
Senior UX Designer: Annie Ha
Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
Co-head of Broadcast Production: Jesse Brihn
Co-head of Broadcast Production: Bryan Litman
Executive Broadcast Producer: Amanda Revere
Senior Broadcast Producer: Andrew Slough
Associate Broadcast Producer: Jamil McGinnis
Director of Integrated Production Business Affairs: Dianne Richter
Integrated Production Business Manager: Grant Thompson
Head of Interactive Production: Niklas Lindstrom
Executive Interactive Producer: Tasha Cronin
Interactive Producer: Alyssa Cashman
Interactive Media Producer: Cylla Senii   
Head of Art Production: Cliff Lewis
Photographer: Paul McGeiver
Senior Art Producer: Emily Heller
Head of Print Services: Rob Lugo
Senior Print Producer: Rick Gutierrez
Retoucher: Mike Vorrasi
Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
Group Strategy Director: Aaron Wiggan
Senior Strategist: Marc Iserlis   
Group Communications Strategy Director: Brian Nguyen 
Senior 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 Cheeks-Lomax
Project Manager: Rayna Lucier

Client       Johnsonville Sausage
Sr. Group Marketing Director                        Ryan Pociask
Integrated Marketing Director                       Jamie Schmelzer
Sr. Brand Manager Fully Cooked                 Kelly Jackson
Creative Director, Brand Communications      Anthony Rammer
PR and Social Media Manager                    Stephanie Dlugopolski
Shopper Marketing Manager                       Stephanie Plehn
Digital Activation Manager                           Carly Nusser

Production Company    T Group Production
Executive Producer     Jenny Daly
Executive Producer     Rob Lobl
Executive Producer      Peter Woronov
EVP, Production & Operations    David Kelleher
Executive in Charge of Production    Christi DiCecco
DOP       Mario Panagiotopoulos
Producer      Jacki Pass
Associate Producer     Carol Gronner
Art Director      Michael Wiggle
Production Coordinator    Dave Riehm

Editorial & Post Production    T Group Production
Co-Executive Producer    Matt Pickel
Director of Post Production    Andrew Raley
Post Production Supervisor    Leslie Niazi
Post Production Coordinator    Brian Fetterer
Editor       Bogdan Bageag
Editor       Taylor Marr
Editor       Alex Nam 
Lead Assistant Editor     Ted Fields
Assistant Editor     Mike Ruiz
Assistant Editor     Dylan Stayman
Assistant Editor     Jacquelyn Vrooman
Assistant Editor     Frank Conte
Assistant Editor     Josh Cordova