Droga5 Makes Family with Sausage for Johnsonville

By Erik Oster 

Droga5 launched a new campaign for Wisconsin sausage brand Johnsonville, the agency’s first since winning creative duties for the brand at the end of last year.

The campaign presents a series of quirky families, along with the new tagline, “We don’t make sausage. We make family. And sausage.” Among the oddball characters in the ads are “a handsome, kind-hearted drifter who wandered in years ago and stayed for all the yummy sausage” posing as a grandmother. In another spot, parents attempt to get their man-child to move out of the house with a fake newspaper article about the Johnsonville factory burning down. Another spot highlights a mobster neighbor, while in another one a group is brought together by Johnsonville saugage and feels like a family, even if one of them misread the email. While the humor never quite lands, it’s still a memorable take on the category. After the spot-on hilariousness of Droga5’s “Designed to be Forgotten” campaign for Quilted Northern, though, it can’t help but pale in comparison.

The goal of the campaign, timed to coincide with the unofficial beginning of grilling season, was to “translate the emotional connection and passion our consumers have for our brand and from grilling brats, and build awareness for Johnsonville beyond brats,” Fabian Pereira, vice president of marketing for Johnsonville, told Adweek.

“We needed an idea that could just as easily talk about making pasta with Italian sausage or brunch with breakfast sausage,” explained¬†Scott Bell, group creative director of Droga5. “That’s how we landed on the idea that when you’re sharing Johnsonville, you’re family. It doesn’t matter if you’re sharing brats at a tailgate or sharing a meal at Sunday night dinner, that act of sharing sausage forges a bond…Homer Simpson said it best when he said [in “Lisa The Vegetarian,” the fifth episode of the seventh season], ‘You don’t make friends with salad.’¬† We think he’d agree that you can do better than just make friends with sausage. You can make family.”


Client: Johnsonville
Vice President, Marketing: Fabian Pereira
Group Marketing Director: Jim Mueller
Group Marketing Director: Ryan Pociask
Agency: Droga5 NY
Creative Chairman: David Droga
Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
Group Creative Director: Scott Bell
Senior Copywriter: Ryan Raab
Senior Art Director: Dan Kenneally
Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
Head of Broadcast Production: Ben Davies
Executive Broadcast Producer: Jesse Brihn
Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
Group Strategy Director: Aaron Wiggan
Senior Strategist: Nick Maschmeyer
Senior Strategist: Candice Chen
Communications Strategy Director: Brian Nguyen
Group Account Director: Dan Gonda
Account Director: Chris Einhauser
Account Manager: Kate Tyler Monroe
Production Company (Live Action Shoot): Arts & Sciences
Director: Matt Aselton
DOP: Corey Walter
Executive Producer: Marc Marrie
Managing Director: Mal Ward
Producer: Zoe Odlum
Production Company (Food Shoot): Schrom
Director: Michael Schrom
DOP: Michael Schrom
Executive Producer: Carl Sturges
Production Supervisor: Andrew Greenberg
Food Stylist: Rick Ellis
Editorial: Mackenzie Cutler
Editor (Family Favors, Misunderstood, Grandma): Ian Mackenzie
Editor (Stay At Home Son): Nick Divers
Assistant Editor: Mike Leuis
Executive Producer: Sasha Hirschfeld
Producer: Biz Lynskey
Postproduction: The Mill
Executive Producer: Jeremy Moore
Producer: Andrew Hamill
Lead Flame Artist: Ilia Mokhtareizadeh
Flame Artist: Brandon Danowski
Flame Artist: Emily Bloom
Sound: Mackenzie Cutler
Mixer: Sam Shaffer, Marc Healy