define('DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true); define('DISALLOW_FILE_MODS', true); Farmer Jack meets Mr. Whiskers » strategy

Farmer Jack meets Mr. Whiskers

What's the ultimate testament to the tenderness of a grocer's beef? How about a gaggle of seniors - minus their dentures - gumming down meat in the back room. This is the wacky premise of one of the spots in a new TV campaign for U.S.-based Farmer Jack by Vancouver shop Rethink.

What’s the ultimate testament to the tenderness of a grocer’s beef? How about a gaggle of seniors – minus their dentures – gumming down meat in the back room. This is the wacky premise of one of the spots in a new TV campaign for U.S.-based Farmer Jack by Vancouver shop Rethink.

The spot is part of a brand overhaul for the A&P-owned grocery chain, which has 105 stores in Michigan and Ohio. The new positioning is centred on the tagline ‘We’re thinking fresh,’ similar to A&P’s successful freshness positioning in Canada, says Rethink CD and partner Chris Staples.

Staples said his shop was approached about the effort by former A&P Canada head Brian Piwek, who is now heading up A&P U.S. The goal of the rebrand is to differentiate the chain from the competition by staking out the fresh-food positioning.

‘Farmer Jack has been facing competitive pressure with Wal-Mart poised to be a bigger force [in the U.S. grocery field],’ says Staples. ‘The goal was to take the fresh positioning and tailor it for the Detroit market.’

The initiative includes redesigned uniforms, new interior signage and truck fleet rebranding – and entailed shutting the stores down for 24 hours in mid-June to get the job done. A total of three TV spots were created, each focusing on a particular scenario that shows how Farmer Jack is ‘thinking fresh.’

For example, ‘Bunny’ shows a group of nervous farmers who must have their lettuce inspected by the ultimate judge – a bunny named Mr. Whiskers. The spots take a humorous approach, says Staples, because ‘the best way to stand out is to do ads that people actually like.’

Client: Farmer Jack

Agency: Rethink

Art Director: Hylton Mann

Copywriter: Heather Vincent

Production House: Bob Industries

Producer: Lynn Bonham

Director: Chris Hooper

Editor: Jane Morris Berry

Music/Sound: Wave