Frito-Lay owned Cracker Jack rolled out a ‘Cracker Jill’ campaign championing women’s equality in sports which leveraged the 2022 Major League Baseball (MLB) season and the snack brand’s long-running links to the game.
The initiative revolved around the 125-year-old Cracker Jack brand’s empowering gender equality makeover which saw its iconic ‘Sailor Jack’ brand character joined by a partner ‘Cracker Jill’ co-mascot.
Cracker Jill™ is here to celebrate women & girls in sports. Support the cause by donating to @womenssportsfdn & with a $5 donation, we’ll send you a bag of Cracker Jill™! Go to https://t.co/KiYjBE41f9 for more info & look out for #CrackerJill in baseball stadiums this season. pic.twitter.com/aA5hfxqeGE
— Frito-Lay (@Fritolay) April 7, 2022
This led to five diverse versions of the original character appear on special-edition packages available in ballparks across the USA and linked company donations of $5 per pack sold (up to $200,000) to the non-profit Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF).
Developed in partnership with agency Ketchum in response to a brief to back gender equality in sport, in addition to the brand asset strands, the campaign also saw platinum-selling R&B singer Normani rework the iconic in-stadium ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ baseball anthem with an updated, gender equality spin.
This was released as a msuic video across the singer and the brand’s social channels with new lyrics that included:
“Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out to the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jill,
No one can stop you if you have the will.
So let’s root, root, root for a girl’s dream.
We’re adding our face to the game,
And we’ll run, throw, never a doubt it’s a new ball game.”
In the future, Cracker Jack plans to make Cracker Jill a permanent fixture within its brand family.
“From the moment they pitched the idea, we saw the vision and knew it wasn’t a matter of if we should do it, but how quickly we could get started,” outlined Frito-Lay North America VP of Marketing Tina Mahal. “Reimagining an iconic brand is never easy, but the response has been overwhelmingly positive—and this is just the beginning for Jill. The five different representations of Jill were made to celebrate the remarkable diversity throughout the country, and they were inspired by the most represented ethnicities, per the U.S. Census Bureau, with the hope that millions of girls and women see a part of themselves.”
“Given that the campaign centers around representation, we knew we wanted someone who is a fierce supporter of women and a trailblazer in her industry,” continued Mahal. “That guiding lens led us to Normani. While Cracker Jill is representative of women in the sports industry, Normani also serves as an example, a role model and an inspiration for many girls and women.”
“As a young girl, I remember being inspired by athletes and artists who looked like me,” added Normani. “They made me believe that I could also achieve greatness as I watched them break barriers for women.”
The campaign was briefed in by and created for Frito-Lay’s marketing group which includes Chief Marketing Officer Rachel Ferdinando, Vice President Of Brand Marketing Tina Mahal, Senior Brand Director Flavia Simoes, Marketing Director Curtis Calloway, Associate Marketing Manager Hannah Sheffield, Communications Director Ashley Capps and Communications Manager Alejandra Suarez.
The team at agency Ketchum which created the campaign and brought it to life include Senior Vice President & Account Director Ilana Shenitzer, Senior Vice President & Executive Creative Director Ben Therrien, Vice President & Account Lead Travis Culver, Vice President & Media Lead Erica Saviano Tsioustas, Vice President & Media Lead Marissa Kandel, Account Supervisors Gabrielle Scheder-Bieschin, Kelsey Kolisek and Account Supervisor Cristian Gonzalez, Account Executive Kevin Hyde, Associate Media Specialist Olivia Olson, Account Coordinator Javen Joerger, Executive Producer Bob Peterson, Executive Field Producer Josh Francis, Associate Producer Matt Winkler and Editor Brett Donohue. Talent was handled by Shaker Maker and photography by Madeline Leach.
Cracker Jill follows in the footsteps of the Diageo Owned Johnnie Walker brand’s introduction of co-character Jane Walker in 2018.
Thus far, 2022 has seen a number of heavyweight sports-linked brands and sponsors refocus around gender equality in sport including Buick’s ‘See Her Greatness‘, Degree’s ‘Bracket Gap Challenge‘, Heineken’s ‘Cheers To All Fans‘, Pure Leaf ‘The Power Of No‘ and Michelob Ultra’s ‘Save It, See It‘ (part of its pledge to invest $100m in media time to women’s sports through 2027).