Jimmy Dean Expresses Blue-Collar Pride

CHICAGO TBWA\Chiat\Day puts Jimmy Dean’s plant employees at the forefront of its first advertising campaign for the Sara Lee-owned brand.

Television spots for the campaign, breaking today, show workers expressing their pride in the product in offbeat ways. In one ad, a worker stands in front of a conveyor belt and asks, “Name something better than Jimmy Dean.” After a long pause, he says, “Wrong.”

Another spot shows two workers at a plant saying, “Any breakfast with imitation cheese and imitation eggs is imitation Jimmy Dean.” Print work continues the irreverent tone. One ad shows a breakfast sandwich and the headline, “With a breakfast like this, you can carpe the whole dang diem.” The campaign tag: “Eat Jimmy Dean.”

“We are extremely excited about our new campaign for Jimmy Dean,” said Ellen Turner, president of U.S. retail for Cincinnati-based Sara Lee Foods, in a statement. “TBWA\Chiat\Day took the time to understand our business and has created a campaign that upholds the values and heritage of the Jimmy Dean brand, while taking the brand into the future to match our evolving consumer base and line of great-tasting breakfast products.”

Previous Jimmy Dean advertising, from Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett in Chicago, depicted a crowd of college-age men eating Jimmy Dean sandwiches before gearing up for a morning of squirrel chasing.

Spending on the campaign was not disclosed. Sara Lee spent nearly $30 million advertising the Jimmy Dean brand last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

TBWA\C\D of Playa del Rey, Calif., won the business following a review that included Havas’ McKinney + Silver in Raleigh, N.C., and Omnicom’s Element 79 Partners and WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather, both in Chicago. The win also included ad duties for the company’s Ball Park Franks brand.