Jimmy John’s Is Not Messing Around in New Campaign From WorkInProgress

By Erik Oster 

Sandwich chain Jimmy John’s launched the next stage of its first campaign from new creative agency of record WorkInProgress (WIP), following last month’s ads mocking third-party delivery services.

Around the same time the chain brought on WIP, Jimmy John’s also selected Haworth as its media agency of record. (Haworth is technically indie, though GroupM acquired just under 50 percent of the organization in 2014. Walmart moved its media business from Publicis to Haworth in late 2016.)

FCB Chicago previously handled creative.


A series of new ads expand the focus on the chain’s delivery, this time highlighting how Jimmy John’s only delivers within a five-mile radius of its locations. “Own the Zone” spans national broadcast spots, online videos on Hulu and YouTube, radio ads on Pandora and Spotify, and targeted OOH displays placed within the chain’s delivery zones.

One ad features a Jimmy John’s truck with a timer counting up to five minutes as it drives through a suburban neighborhood. As it reaches the five-minute mark, it draws the line with harsh red paint and not everyone takes the decision well.

Another spot features a “titan of industry” who used to think he had it all—until he learned he lives just outside of Jimmy John’s delivery zone. A third takes the perspective of Jimmy John’s employees delivering subs via bicycle.

The point of the strict delivery zone, of course, is to ensure freshness. And Jimmy John’s is not messing around about it.

“Jimmy John’s would rather limit the size of its delivery zones than deliver a subpar sandwich. They have a fanatical commitment to freshness,” WorkInProgress creative partner Matt Talbot said. “Our agency is one block outside of a delivery zone and they won’t make an exception, even for us.”

“We wanted to tell customers about delivery, our commitment to speed and freshness, and our extreme passion for sandwiches. Our small Sandwich Delivery Zones is a symbol of all those things,” Jimmy John’s CMO John Shea added. “It was an action we took years ago but never really talked about. Now was the perfect time to do so.”

He explained that WIP decided this was a story that “needed to be told” shortly after being selected as agency of record. Production on the campaign began around the start of 2019.

Shea added that WIP and Jimmy John’s are working on two additional campaigns launching in May and June, one of which expands the “Own the Zone” messaging, while the other takes things in a new diretion.