Welch’s Smashes the Hell Out of Some Grapes In Its Humorously Horrifying New Ad

Barton F. Graf brings a rugged twist to antioxidants

Grape juice isn't made with hugs and tickles. It's made with crushing and pulverizing. Welch's
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Grapes are back. They never really left.

Companies marketing those woody berries have had some problems connecting to Gen X men, though. So Welch’s, the world’s leading maker of Concord and Niagara grape-based products, turned to an unexpected partner to rebrand its core lineup.

Barton F. Graf is best known for ads that blend the late-night sensibilities of Adult Swim and David Lynch, promoting brands like Brinks Home Security and Little Caesar’s while challenging casting directors to find some of the world’s strangest-looking people.

The agency may seem like an odd match for Welch’s, but it makes the most of an opportunity to turn those fruit clusters into liquid via old-school blunt force trauma.

Don’t be fooled by the acoustic guitar opener.

“We are turning a category typically packed with sunshine and smiles on its head to show consumers how grape juice is really made,” said founder and chief creative officer Gerry Graf in explaining his approach. “The machines Welch’s workers use are actually called Pulverizers and Crushers.”

Graf added, “The Concord grape is raised in the toughest conditions, but it’s sweet–a lot like Generation X men.”

This is all based on research, by the way. A Welch’s study found that 59 percent of Gen X men are the primary grocery shoppers in their households, more than 70 percent drink juice with breakfast, and 6 out of 10 enjoy the grape flavor.

The second spot in the campaign goes even darker in addressing the fact that men find the health benefits of juice particularly “compelling.”

“The juice category and shopping behaviors are changing, and we knew it was time to disrupt the category by making a bold move to reinvigorate the juice aisle,” read a statement from Welch’s U.S. president Lesya Lysyj. “The ‘Tough as Grapes’ campaign solidifies our commitment to the modern grocery shopper, while championing the tough antioxidants in our Concord grapes.”

Whatever. Let’s watch those grapes get pulverized all over again.

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@PatrickCoffee patrick.coffee@adweek.com Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.