los angeles—Jack in the Box's advertising mascot is straying into new territory to introduce additions to the fast-food chain's menu.
New ads breaking now from Secret Weapon Mar keting again feature Jack, the "founder" of the chain, part clown and part serious CEO, who has been central to the company's marketing for five years. As usual, Jack appears as a man in a business suit with a big ball-shaped white head and pointed cap. His voice is provided by Dick Sittig, founder and creative director of the Santa Monica, Calif., agency.
In a spot introducing the Chipotle Chicken Sandwich, Jack is visiting an open-air Hispanic produce market in search of new ingredients. A woman tells him about the chipotle pepper, but Jack is unable to get the name right. As he mangles the word, offering pronunciations such as "chi-poddle," the blue smile painted on his face is contorted into squiggly lines. Finally, when he tries to repeat the woman's fare well, she tells him in English to "just go."
Another spot shows Jack in bed with his wife, "Cricket." After a kiss goodnight, she asks, "You want me to be happy—right?" When he says he does, she proposes adding a turkey burger to the menu. "Consider it done," says Jack. As the lights dim, he says slyly, "Honey? You want to make me happy—right?"
Spending was not disclosed. The San Diego-based chain spent nearly $70 million on advertising last year and more than $40 million through August of this year, per CMR.
Secret Weapon introduced Jack more than five years ago after the shop was launched as the Kowloon Wholesale Seafood Co. "We probably do 18-25 spots for Jack in the Box each year," said managing director Pat Adams. "That may not be a lot for a client in the fast-food category, but the client finds it more efficient to work with a smaller shop."
Since its founding, Adams noted, the 10-person agency has only worked on the one account.
Jack in the Box operates 1,869 units in 17 states.