John Cena’s Pecs Do Some Crazy Things in These New Hefty Ads

Plus, the return of the 'Hefty!' chant

Headshot of Katie Richards

Strong trash bags at a low price point make John Cena's pecs dance with excitement in a new campaign for Hefty from Havas Worldwide Chicago. 

The new campaign also marks the return of the iconic "Hefty!, Hefty!, Hefty!," chant, used in the brand's marketing in the 1980s and a revival of the Hefty/Wimpy spots but for a modern audience. "It wasn't just about bringing the chant back, but it was about bringing it back and executing it in different fun and sharable ways," Ecole Weinstein, creative director, Havas Worldwide Chicago, told Adweek.

John Cena stars in three spots demonstrating all the great things that can happen when you choose a box of Hefty trash bags over a competitor brand. In one spot, Cena grabs the Hefty box and hears that classic Hefty chant echoing from the grocery store ceiling. When actor Rob Schneider enters the scene and chooses a non-Hefty product, the reaction isn't quite what he would have hoped for.

A second spot, "Pec Flex," is just as enjoyable, especially for the thirsty woman behind Cena in the check out line, watching the events unfold.

A third spot, "Becoming Cena," also features Rob Schneider and again shows the stark difference between choosing Hefty's new Ultra Strong trash bags with Arm & Hammer odor control and some other product on the shelves. 

For the time being, the first two spots will run on TV and online, with "Becoming Cena" getting a digital and social push. Both Hefty and Cena will share the work from their respective social media accounts.

Each of the three ads is meant to shake up the current trash bag category, injecting some humor into the conversation and hopefully bringing "cultural relevance to a not-so-glamorous category," Jason Peterson, chief creative officer, Havas Worldwide Chicago, said. The move to tap Cena for the campaign is also meant to open the category up to a wider range of consumers, not just moms.

Plus, Cena felt like the perfect fit for a strong product by an all-American brand. "Hefty is an iconic American brand and Cena is very all-American. He's got this great strength so that's the perfect fit because Hefty has always been known for its superior strength," Weinstein said. 



Chief Creative Officer, N.A: Jason Peterson

Group Creative Director: École Weinstein

Copywriter(s) Matt Bush, Alexis Carr

Art director(s): Nat Loehr

Co-Head of Production, N.A: Dave Evans

Executive Producer: Brigette Whisnant

Sr. Business Affairs Manager: Bonnie Hamilton

Managing Director:  Lisa Evia

Account Supervisor: Kristy Hughes

Assistant Account Executive: Matt McManus

Project Manager: Katelin Randall

Strategy: Michelle Gerstin, Martin Vogts

Media VP Account Director:  Shawn Mulroney, Bethany Whipple

Media Supervisor: Amanda Smidt

Media Planner: Kamila Kowalczuk, Denise Alvarez


Production Company: Smuggler – Los Angeles

Director: Renny Maslow

Executive Producer: Drew Santarsiero

Line Producer: Rhonda Vernet

Director of Photography: Bob Yeoman


Editorial Company: Whitehouse Post, Studio 6- Chicago

Sr. Editor: Dan Zabinski – Whitehouse Post Chicago

Asst. Editor Kelsey Moher – Studio 6 Chicago, Ben Cline & Luke Sloma – Whitehouse Post Chicago

Sr. Audio Engineer: Todd Beee – Studio 6 Chicago

Executive Producer: Lauren Shawe – Studio 6 Chicago

Post Producer: Kara Weinert – Studio 6 Chicago, Natalie Ksiazek – The Mill, Lauren Connolly – Whitehouse Post Chicago

Colorist, company: Luke Morrison – The Mill

Conform Artist, Company: Randy McEntee – The Mil

Graphic Artist, Company: Colin Hess – The Mill

Music Composer, Company: Marmoset

@ktjrichards Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.