Social Media

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of #JackVSMartha

February 13, 2018

A closer look at the successes and failures of Super Bowl advertisements

Did you watch SuperBowl LII? Did you see the #JackVSMartha commercial for Jack in the Box?
This advertising campaign had a lot of moving parts. We analyzed the use of video, funny and engaging content, influencer marketing, and a viral hashtag… but we ultimately think it missed the mark in a lot of ways.
We took a deeper look at this ad to figure out why it had promise and what went wrong.

Let’s start with the good:

They got our attention.


It was an engaging video that was different from a lot of the other ads shown on SuperBowl Sunday. It had recognizable celebrities and brands that we are familiar with, and we still remember it after the Super Bowl. We are writing about it, after all.
They used a variety of social media tactics.
With a creative video, humor, influencer marketing (through a partnership with Martha Stewart), and the addition of a viral hashtag, we found many tactics that are all components of an effective social media campaign.
They had big names, and recognizable characters.
Jack is immediately recognizable, and Martha Stewart is a well-known personality. No matter what your opinion is about these two, you probably know who they are. Through clever content collaborations with a social media influencer, you can expand your message by engaging your existing fans AND the followers of your influencer.
Although this Super Bowl ad was served to a broad audience, Jack In The Box also generated targeted appeal and conversations from Martha Stewart’s fans and dare we say…. encouraged them to try their Asian Fried Chicken Sandwich??
There was humor.
The sandwich debate is a funny concept, and the way it was presented was definitely humorous, including Jack’s nose being pulled off by Martha and security dragging him away (but not before he shouts out the Twitter hashtag). A fast food restaurant challenging a food celebrity like Martha Stewart is already a bit absurd… but adding a sandwich battle between the two on social media makes it even more engaging.

So….. what didn’t work out so well?

They explicitly call for a “Twitter War,” but don’t tell us what to post.

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While we commend the use of a viral hashtag to get people engaged and keep the conversation going after the commercial ends, the call to action was very vague. Jack explicitly says “Get ready for a Twitter war!” With a company as large as Jack in the Box, they might have had success just letting the hashtag run its course organically, however, the hashtag didn’t take off as expected. We believe it was because it lacked direction. They never said what to do with the hashtag, whether you were supposed to vote for your favorite after trying both, or to pick who would win, or just to support Jack as he tries to make Martha try his sandwich.
There was no incentive.
A conversation was started with the viral hashtag, but it’s mostly between Jack and Martha as she continues to refuse to try his sandwich. While customers can jump in and comment, there’s really no incentive for them to go to Jack in the Box or buy the featured sandwich. We think it would have been a good idea to have a promotion tied to the hashtag. For example, say if Jack gets 1 million retweets, Martha promises to try the sandwich, AND 1 million coupons are given away on social for people to try the sandwich for 50% off for a limited time. This would create a sense of urgency and drive people to their social media channels with a clear goal in mind. Incentives can be a great strategy to engage your social audience, offering a way for people to get involved in the conversation and be rewarded for their participation, while increasing your web traffic and customer interactions.
There hasn’t been a lot of engagement.
As we’ve mentioned, this ad had a lot of great social media components, but we haven’t seen the amount of conversations we expected given the size of the two brands. The original tweets from the two celebrities have decent amount of engagement in retweets and likes, but not nearly as much as much as you’d hope from a multi-million dollar SuperBowl commercial. To drive more engagement, they could have included other social media networks and reach those who aren’t on Twitter by taking advantage of Facebook Live or Instagram Stories to get people to tune in and join the conversation in real time.  
There was a lot of promise for this campaign, but we’re not convinced it lived up to its potential. This ad might have bit off more than it can chew, focusing on too many features instead of doing one thing really well. What do YOU think?
If you’re interested in learning more about what Keychain Social can do for your social media marketing goals this year, click the link below to talk with a member of our client success team.