Jack in the Box re-hires CEO ‘Jack Box’ and once-fired employee Mark Hamill
Popular fast food chain Jack in the Box is looking to reverse its sales fortunes with the help of two key characters from its storied past.
Long ago, in a drive-thru far, far away, Mark Hamill once worked at, and got fired from, Jack in the Box. To celebrate the return of Jack’s spicy chicken strips and French toast sticks, which launch today, Hamill reassumes his role as a drive-thru clerk at the restaurant. This is at the behest of mock chief executive ‘Jack Box,’ who returns as the key spokescharacter.
Jack in the Box, which saw its stock hit a two-year low in May, is looking to reverse course with the help of Jack Box. Newly-appointed agency TBWA\Chiat\Day LA is looking to restore the legacy of the fictional chief exec and deliver new messaging centered around the core idea of WWJBD (What would Jack Box do?)
Rehiring Hamill is first on his agenda. ‘The Return of Mark Hamill’ features three ads, the first showing a candid camera scenario where Hamill takes customers’ orders in a clown voice (the offense he was fired for as a teen). Once they pull around to collect their food, they are stunned to see the Star Wars star.
The other two spots highlight the triumphant return of Jack Box as chief exec. He announces the return of two popular menu items, as well as poking fun at Hamill.
“We’re taking our brand through an evolution right now,” Sheena Dougher, senior director of marketing communications at Jack in the Box, told The Drum. “We have a great foundation to build upon, and as we strategized with our new agency partners, we saw an opportunity to authentically connect back to the history of Jack in the Box that people know and love, and lucky enough for us, that included cultural icon Mark Hamill. The story is just too good not to tell.”
These are TBWA\Chiat\Day’s first spots for the chain since 1997. David&Goliath previously served as creative lead for eight years.
TBWA\Chiat\Day group creative director Jason Karley said: “We were looking for creative ways to reestablish Jack as CEO and tie into him bringing back two fan-favorite menu items, and the team happened upon a James Cordon interview with Mark Hamill, where he described being fired from Jack in the Box as a teen.
“So, we thought, ‘Perfect – Jack can bring back all three.’ Mark got to work the drive-thru again all these years later and Jack got to hang with and interview his most popular former employee.”
The spots will run on TV, including football broadcasts, as well as on social, including TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter and Meta properties. Jack in the Box is also releasing a limited-edition comic book that illustrates Hamill’s short-lived career at the restaurant, which will be available for purchase throughout August via shopjackinthebox.com and DriveThruComics.com.