Cracker Jack introduces ‘Cracker Jill’: a fresh face for empowering female athletes
The campaign from the Frito-Lay-owned brand includes a “reimagined” version of Take Me Out to the Ballgame performed by award-winning singer Normani.
Cracker Jack is celebrating the groundbreaking achievements of female athletes by introducing ‘Cracker Jill,’ a new series of female characters that will appear on product packaging beginning later this week. The announcement of the campaign is accompanied by a new spin on the old classic Take Me Out to the Ballgame – which calls out Cracker Jack by name – performed by pop star Normani.
“Cracker Jack has been around for over a century,” said Tina Mahal, vice-president of marketing at PepsiCo, Frito-Lay’s parent company. “This brand has been around for a lot of moments, specifically in sports. [It’s] been around as records were made and as rules have changed. And as we’ve seen rules change, we’ve seen a big transformation happening; throughout sports, girls and women are really changing the face of the game. Because of that change, and because of our connection with sports, we thought it was high time that we introduced Cracker Jill ... what we’re trying to do is really shine a light on representation of women in sports, and show women that they are represented, they’re acknowledged and they’re celebrated on even some of the most iconic sets.”
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The Cracker Jill campaign features a line-up of five female characters, designed to reflect the five most represented ethnicities in the United States.
The new initiative will include a $200,000 donation to the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), a non-profit organization founded in 1972 by Billie Jean King, which aims “to expand access and opportunities for girls and women in sports,” according to the organization’s website.
Bags of Cracker Jill will be exclusively available in Major League Baseball stadiums beginning on April 7, the opening day of the league’s 2022 season. Fans can also visit crackerjill.com to make a donation to the WSF, upon which they’ll receive a special-edition Cracker Jill bag.
Cracker Jill wasn’t designed to serve a limited-edition role, though. “The intention is for Jill to join Sailor Jack as a permanent member of the team roster,” Cracker Jack said in a statement. “She’ll fully remain part of the brand ethos as Cracker Jack and Frito-Lay continue their commitment to equity and representation.”
The new campaign includes a modernized cover of Take Me Out to the Ballgame produced by Normani – previously a member of the pop group Fifth Harmony – in partnership with the Cracker Jack team. The new music video opens with text that reads: “Sometimes all it takes to believe you can do something is to see someone who looks like you do it first.” Following a montage depicting young women breaking barriers in a variety of sports, the video cuts to a shot of Normani standing in front of a microphone on a baseball diamond. “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jill,” she sings. “No one can stop you if you have the will.”
“One of the most well-known ways that Cracker Jack is associated with baseball and with sports is through that seventh inning stretch and the song Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” Mahal says. “The lyrics that are in there – ‘buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack’ – are woven into the culture of the country and the fabric of baseball. We thought we would tap into that cultural connection ... and so we partnered with Normani, someone [who] is a trailblazer in her own right ... to update that song. She reimagined the lyrics along with our Cracker Jack team to really celebrate the tenacity and grit of women and girls in sports.”