Jif and Smucker’s bring creativity back to CPG category


What would you do if aliens were attacking the world and you had nowhere to go but a bunker? Of course you’d run for it.

But what if that bunker only had generic peanut butter? Would you stay? That is one of the questions posed by the big, new bold and funny as hell Jif campaign.

It’s really nice to see, in this day of brands cutting back on TV production budgets and media, that a brand and an agency still have the balls to make the big funny, quirky spot.

In this case it’s two brands, Jif peanut butter and Smucker’s Natural from Ohio-based The J. M. Smucker Company, that have captured the Reel 360 team’s attention, making these four spots, which launched today, our “Reel Ad of the Week.”

The multi-faceted, holistic, campa,igns are the first creative work from Publicis Groupe’s Power of One team, which in this case includes Zenith, MSL, Digitas and Moxie.

‘That Jif’ing Good’ is a quirky, irreverent campaign that takes a bold, expensive theatrical tone illustrating just how far people might well go for the fresh-roasted peanut taste of Jif peanut butter.

Signaling a departure from typical CPG advertising and leaning into more of a cinematic look and feel, this campaign was designed to modernize the iconic peanut butter and make it relevant to peanut butter lovers of all ages—not just moms and dads.

Its over-the-top cinematic approach, and hyperbolic tone, might seem a bit extreme for a jar of peanut butter, but if you’ve ever eaten a spoonful of Jif, you’d understand.

“This new campaign for Jif is so different as we bring edge, sass and cinematics to the peanut butter category,” said Jake Calhoun, Director of Brand Strategy for Jif at The J.M. Smucker Company. “Peanut butter lovers everywhere will relate to the hilarious extremes they would go to for a delicious jar of Jif.”

Take a look at the two spots, directed by Wayne McClammy of Hungry Man. They are that Jif’ing good:

Jif Bunker 60 from Lauren Wojciechowski on Vimeo.

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Andy Bird, Chief Creative Officer, Publicis New York, said, “When we won The J.M. Smucker Company business, we were tasked with delivering a creative transformation. But when you’re dealing with such iconic brands, you have to be really thoughtful. It was an incredible process from start to finish.” He added, “A true partnership that yielded the kind of creative work I believe is going to make other CPG marketers think twice about how they show up in the world. I’m very excited about the debut of these two campaigns. And there’s more to come.”

Jif Squirrel 30 from Lauren Wojciechowski on Vimeo.

“It’s so exciting to debut two stellar campaigns, for two of our legacy brands. We’re all confident this body of work will be a bold stand-out in the industry, and set a new bar for CPG creative excellence and effectiveness,” said Christine Hoffman, Consumer Engagement Group Lead at The J.M. Smucker Company. “It’s thrilling to breath new excitement and creative life into our beloved Jif and Smucker’s brands.”

For Smuckers, the agency has created a quirky approach that champions a modern stay-at-home dad, Father Nature, and his commitment to feeding his daughter more natural, yet still delicious foods.

His wife, Mother Nature, has arguably the biggest job on the planet. So, it’s Father Nature’s job to keep things running smoothly for the family. It’s no surprise Smucker’s Natural Strawberry Fruit Spread is his go-to fruit spread since it’s always made with fruit as the first ingredient, which is a big deal in the Nature household. Watch below:

Smucker's Kitchen 30 from Lauren Wojciechowski on Vimeo.

“Father Nature perfectly personifies the changing face of fathers in modern families,” said Ali Brown, Director of Brand Strategy for Smucker’s at The J.M. Smucker Company. “We drew upon Smucker’s family heritage, then brought it to life through a lighthearted, enchanting, yet relatable narrative.”

Smucker's List 30 from Lauren Wojciechowski on Vimeo.

Erica Roberts, Executive Creative Director, said, “We all talk to our clients about bravery, but when it’s decision time — particularly on big, iconic brands — most marketers default to what they know. Not these guys. The J.M. Smucker Company’s willingness to push well out of their comfort zone was inspiring. On Jif, we’ve gone from talking to parents about nourishing their kids, to creating mini-motion pictures about the absurd lengths people would go for it. And on Smucker’s, their namesake brand, we’ve given their 120-year-old family heritage a magical reboot. We’re launching PB&J for the modern day.”

Both campaigns will live across linear TV, premium and programmatic online video & display channels, along with paid social and paid search.

“Squirrel” debuts today on The Today Show on NBC, and in a rolling launch, “Bunker” debuts the :30 version on Sunday 9/8 across a number of NFL regular season kick-off games, followed by the :60 version of the spot airing on the 9/16 premiere of Dancing with the Stars.

Organically, Father Nature will have his own Twitter handle to help drive further connection to this character and allow Smucker’s to engage with their audience in a modern way.

Client: The J.M. Smucker Company
Brand: Jif/ Smucker’s Natural

Agency: Publicis Groupe, New York
   Chief Creative Officer: Andy Bird
   Executive Creative Director: Erica Roberts
   Associate Creative Director, Copy: Alan Wilson
   Associate Creative Director, Art: Peter Defries
   Sr. Art Director: Molly Prunka
   Sr. Copywriter: Blake Fromkin
   EVP, Director of Integrated Production: Jenny Read
   Executive Producer: Lauren Schneidmuller
   Senior Producer: Jourdan Valdes
   Designer: Zachary Collopy
   Group Account Director: Pedro Perez
   Account Director: Megan Shekleton

Production Company: Hungry Man
   Director: Wayne McClammy

Editorial Company: Union Editorial
   Editor: Christjan Jordan
   Editor: Andrew Ratzlaff
   Producer: Susan Motamed

Audio Record & Mix: Harbor Picture Company
   Audio Mixer: Steve Perski
   Sound Design: Beacon Street Studios

SOURCE: The J. M. Smucker Company

Contact Colin Costello at colin@reelchicago.com.