Jimmy Dean's New Campaign Strikes Sunny Tone Without Familar Sunshine Mascot

Marketer Increasing Digital and Print Ad Spending Over Last Year

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Jimmy Dean's new campaign pulls away from its longtime sunshine mascot to play up the character's optimism.
Jimmy Dean's new campaign pulls away from its longtime sunshine mascot to play up the character's optimism.

A new campaign from Jimmy Dean, the marketer of sausages and other breakfast foods, goes without the sunshine mascot that it's used in ads for 10 years. But it aims to build on the character's optimism to boost sales even at a potentially tricky time for processed meat sales.

The effort, created by Ogilvy & Mather, will use elements including TV, print and influencers to talk about "starting the day right" and "Mondays for Good," all under the theme "Shine It Forward" -- Jimmy Dean's take on paying it forward.

Jimmy Dean is particularly spending more on content creation, social engagement and paid amplification, partly to generate participation, according to Eric Schwartz, group VP-general manager. "It's made for digital at the core," he said.

The effort will also serve as the occasion to kick off Jimmy Dean's Instagram presence. "We're expecting our enhanced way of connecting with consumers around passion points to be something we can build on for years to come," Mr. Schwartz said. (The campaign will see increased print spending too.)

Although the sunshine character won't appear as the familiar man in a suit, Mr. Schwartz said the mascot's attitude will infuse "Shine It Forward."

In one video, "Happy Commute," a man starts his day by giving his umbrella to a stranger, who compliments a woman's boots, who high-fives a bus driver. In another, people talk about how Mondays are the hardest day of the week but could be better with a little kindness.

In social media, the company will post a sample letter to a boss suggesting that workers take the morning off for a "Monday for Good." Jimmy Dean is encouraging its own workers and brand team to commit to "Mondays For Good," as well, starting today.

The campaign comes soon after the World Health Organization said processed meat consumption is linked with higher cancer rates. So where does Jimmy Dean's optimistic campaign fit into the findings? Mr. Schwartz didn't comment on that question, but referred to the company statement on the study:

The causes of cancer are extremely complex. Just as consumers need to eat a healthy, balanced diet, they need balanced information. We agree with the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), that the classification of red and processed meats by the International Agency for Research on Cancer conflicts with dozens of studies showing no correlation between meat and cancer and other studies showing the many health benefits of balanced diets that include meat.

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