Rob Gronkowski and Richard Sherman Talk About Stuff While Eating Beef Jerky in New Branded Web Series

Oberto tries to rebrand snack as healthy

Oberto wants to change the way you think about beef jerky.

For the past two years, the Seattle-based brand's "You Get Out What You Get In" campaign is aimed to rebrand the snack from being a "guy thing" into something that's healthy.

"Some of the bigger brands, they were very focused on talking about this as man food as kind of this hyper-masculine snack," said Mike Ginal, Oberto's vp of marketing. "Not really talking about the benefits of the product."

So Oberto has been partnering with some recognizable pro athletes such as Richard Sherman, Rob Gronkowski, Travis Pastrana and Hunter Pence, as well as ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith. Sherman, a defensive back for the Seattle Seahawks, was the first to sign on with Oberto.

"I really love what they stand for," Sherman tells Adweek, noting the brand's tagline fits with his personality. "That's the kind of guy that I am, I'm a grinder."

And with the NFL Draft kicking off next Thursday, Oberto is rolling out its first digital series starring Sherman and Gronkowski. The series, aptly titled, "Gronk & Sherm Talk about Stuff While Eating Jerky," features the two NFL stars, well, talking about stuff while eating some jerky. The videos, which vary between 15 and 30 seconds long, see the two assessing a piece of modern art, playing the kazoo, competing in a game of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots and Gronkowski educating Sherman on an antique Oriental vase.

"They want to eat healthy all the time," says Ginal. "They don't always have to be doing something that is literally active."

Gronkowski adds that the majority of the interactions between him and Sherman were ad-libbed, with Oberto providing a rough structure. "They came up with the themes and then we came up with the improv," he says. Gronkowski joined on with Oberto this past year. "I just felt like we were a good match," he said. "I actually enjoy eating beef jerky."

Oberto will roll out five videos today to launch the new series, with an additional video coming each day through next week's draft. Ginal adds they'll roll out more videos later in the year, likely when the NFL season kicks off. The videos are available on Oberto's YouTube and Facebook pages.

The "You Get Out What You Get In" campaign has worked for Oberto. While the category overall has been flat in terms of sales, Ginal says they were up 30 percent in the past quarter. "We're the brand that's really transforming people's perception of Jerky from this kind of guy snack to a really fantastic protein snack."