Clowning Around

Dick Sittig may have the best job in advertising. Not only does the veteran creative director serve as the sole copywriter, art director and director of the Jack in the Box campaign, he’s the voice of Jack.
Sittig, who took the creative and account portions of the $40 million Jack in the Box account with him when Chiat/Day resigned the business in 1997, continues to be a one-man creative powerhouse at his 10-person Kowloon Wholesale Seafood Co. (Kowloon worked solely on Jack until a few months ago, when the Santa Monica, Calif., agency took on a second account,
“What it all boils down to is one person with an idea,” he says. “You don’t need a slew of people for that.”
Asked where he draws his inspiration for the likable character, Sittig says he comes up with ideas while driving in L.A. His brainstorming sessions usually involve getting into his car around midnight and driving for a few hours. He then turns around and makes revisions. Sittig works with briefs and only presents scripts that he’s committed to producing.
His favorite spot is the 1997 “The Visit,” a spoof on reality-based TV shows like Cops. In it, a customer critical of Jack in the Box food gets his comeuppance as Jack arrives at his house, drags the man out and smacks him around on his lawn. “It took me a year to sell that one,” Sittig recalls, “and another year to get it produced.” Shown only after 10 p.m., the spot drew criticism– but that didn’t stop it from winning a gold Lion at Cannes in 1998.
Prior to reviving the Jack in the Box character, Sittig won awards for his work on Nissan’s “Road to Rio” and Reebok’s talking tennis balls campaigns. He also gave life to the commercial-within-a-commercial concept with his Energizer Bunny ads created with Andy Dijak. –Angela Dawson