What's next for Jimmy John’s after its first Super Bowl commercial
Before Darin Dugan joined Jimmy John’s in 2020, he saw it as a brand that was doing fine but could use a bit more of a storytelling approach.
Jimmy John’s needed “a little bit less of one-off retail executions and more of a campaign idea with a solid creative strategy behind it,” Dugan says on the latest episode of Ad Age’s “Marketer’s Brief” podcast.
Now, nearly a year into his tenure as the sandwich shop’s chief marketing officer, Dugan has hired a new creative agency, Anomaly, and is eager for Jimmy John’s to present more storytelling and innovation.
Jimmy John’s went big, running its first Super Bowl commercial earlier this month. The spot shows actor Brad Garrett starring as anti-hero Tony Bolognavich. The next day, it followed up with an ad focused on the chain’s first chicken sandwich, the limited-time Smokin’ Kickin’ Chicken.
“We have a lot of storytelling to do and we just hadn’t really done it before, we had staked our place, if you will, in terms of freaky fast,” Dugan says, referring to the brand’s often-used phrase.
Jimmy John’s certainly won’t abandon “freaky fast,” which ties into the speed at which it makes its sandwiches and delivers. That phrase and “freaky fresh” helped build the brand, says Dugan.
Jimmy John’s won’t be constantly rolling out new items, but it is already planning for more innovation later in the year to drive interest and trial.
“You will definitely see more innovation across 2021,” says Dugan, hinting at something to come in the summer.
After pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic, the chain’s momentum increased in the second half of 2020. And the brand established its partnership with DoorDash, which now includes Jimmy John’s on its ordering platform (Jimmy John’s still handles the delivery).
It’s been less than two weeks since the Super Bowl ad debuted. It ranked 34th in the USA Today Ad Meter rankings.
“We feel great about the receptivity to it,” Dugan says.
Hear more from Dugan in the podcast above.
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