Jack Link's Has Sasquatch Training NFL Players

Odell Beckham Jr., Clay Matthews Are Schooled in Beaver Squats, Salmon Swings

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The stars of the 'Workin' Out With Sasquatch' campaign.
The stars of the 'Workin' Out With Sasquatch' campaign. Credit: Jack Link's Beef Jerky

Jack Link's Sasquatch is taking Odell Beckham Jr. and Clay Matthews back to the 1980s in a workout-themed campaign the jerky brand might extend into other sports after football season.

New TV commercials debuting Monday include three 30-second videos and 10 to 15 15-second spots.

Sasquatch grunts as he instructs the NFL stars how to do exercises such as tree press, salmon swing, squirrel chase and riding outdated stationary bicycles in what play like teasers for an '80s-style VHS exercise series.

Depending on the spot, either the New York Giants' Mr. Beckham or Green Bay Packers' Mr. Matthews is heard saying "Jack Link's jerky, the protein-packed snack packed with protein" at the end.

The campaign marks Jack Link's first big work under TD Dixon, who joined in April as its first chief marketing officer. He was most recently CMO at Welch's.

"We don't take ourselves too seriously but we wanted to truly communicate a product message," Mr. Dixon said of the protein-focused approach. "Part of what I saw as a gap in our communications portfolio was really hammering home the product benefit."

It's the brand's second stint with Mr. Matthews, who starred in a digital campaign linking Sasquatch to football that generated buzz and helped inspire Jack Link's to look into a broader relationship with the sport. For Mr. Beckham, the Jack Link's campaign is launching at the same time as new work for Campbell's Chunky Soup.

Jack Link's is significantly increasing its marketing spending in the second half of 2016, with plans to spend close to five times what it spent during the latter half of 2015.

"You're going to see this all the time," Mr. Dixon said, adding that about 70% of the campaign is devoted to TV, with 30% on digital.

Carmichael Lynch is Jack Link's creative and media agency. The spots will air during games and sports reporting, as well as on networks such as FX and Spike TV, Mr. Dixon said. Social plans include participation from Mr. Beckham and Mr. Matthews.

Once football season ends, the brand may mix Sasquatch's workout ideas with basketball or other sports. The intent is it could be almost a year-round campaign, with different themes highlighted at the appropriate times. At this point. Mr. Dixon said it was too early to discuss whether other athletes would join in.

On set, the Jack Link's team quickly discovered that Mr. Beckham was a true fan of the product.

"He would not stop eating jerky," recalled Johnna Rossbach, Jack Link's director of marketing integration. "We had a spit bucket for him, but that was never used."

Jack Link's, which is privately held, said sales totaled $1.2 billion last year.

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