Analyzing a Jack Link’s Ad

There are many well put together commercials that capture our attention, that interest us so much that we have to tell others about them, some that we look at and can only refer to them as art. Then there are the other commercials that are trying and get some things right, but can’t quite be everything we’re looking for, and then there are those that look like someone came up with a random idea and ran with it. I’m bringing you one of those middle ground commercials today from Jack Link’s Messing with Sasquatch series, and I’m going to take a look at what they did well in this commercial, and what they fell short on. This is going to be just my opinion, and I would love to hear yours. Together we might learn more about advertising and figure out the secret recipe for making amazing ads. Let’s check out the commercial first, and then I’ll get to my analysis.

I’m going to mix it up this week and start with my list of what they did bad. The first thing that caught my attention is that this ad has very little dialogue in it. They really rely on the images to tell the story of what’s going on, which is perfectly fine, but I still see it as a weakness. I’m not sure about you, but usually when commercials come on if they don’t instantly catch my attention, I’m going to go work on something else quick until the show come back on. I might go and get some water, or talk with my family, do just about anything but watch that commercial. Having interesting dialogue, or at least music or sound effects could catch my interest and get me to focus back on the commercial and your product.

Speaking of getting my interest, this commercial really doesn’t do anything to get mine in the first five seconds. In the first five seconds of this ad Jack Link’s announces their brand and product, which is good, and then they have three guys walk out of a grocery store. I’m not really hooked or invested in this ad yet.  I’ve said this many times before that if you are going to have a commercial before Youtube videos, you need to have something that catches my attention before that skip button pops up at five seconds, either that or be under 30 seconds so that your ad can’t be skipped. I still recommend trying to catch my attention though.

This commercial could come across as sexist, since it only shows men enjoying the product. I’m sure there are plenty of women out there that like beef jerky, and probably just as many that enjoy pulling a practical joke every once in a while. By only having men in this commercial it almost says that this is a product for men. You don’t want to alienate anyone when you make commercials, but perhaps the advertising team that made this ad looked at their research and decided that men were their target audience. If that’s the case, then this was perfectly acceptable, but in my opinion, beef jerky isn’t a gender specific snack.

The final bad thing that I noticed about this ad, and this is more of a personal thing, is that it promotes bullying. These three guys decide to pick on Big Foot just to get some laughs. It may seem like some harmless fun, but bullying is not harmless. I don’t want this to turn into a PSA about bullying, but my community has recently suffered a loss because of bullying, so it hits a little closer to home than it normally might. Making someone else’s life miserable so that you can be entertained is not okay, and it really shouldn’t be something that is promoted and made acceptable in your commercials either.

There is a rule in advertising that if you want someone to remember your product or brand, you have to say the name of it at least three times. Jack Link’s comes close in this ad, they say it twice, at the beginning and the end. You only have to be exposed to the commercial half a time more before it sticks with you, which is pretty good, but it is definitely something they could have done better in this ad. The packaging for the product was visible throughout the almost the whole commercial, so this one is sort of a tossup, and I’m going to make it a neutral point.

Let’s end with by looking at some positives. This ad shows people enjoying their product. Nothing brings men closer together than sharing a bag of beef jerky, um, other than maybe a hundred different things? I’m still a fan of the beef jerky though. Showing the people in your ad interacting with your product, and better yet, enjoying it is always good. I can think of few brands that have tried to make their commercial look bad, although their is a Cheetos commercial I’ve seen recently that could be taken in a bad way. The point is that Jack Links did okay by with promoting their product for enjoyability, but only just barely.

If you look closely at this ad, you could even say that it is suggesting that this product will help you to find adventure and fun times. These three guys walk out of a grocery store with beef jerky, which apparently it takes three guys to enjoy a bag of beef jerky. One to buy it, one to hold the bad, and the other to eat it. It would have made more sense if they were all eating beef jerky instead of just the one guy, but whatever. I’ll get back to my original point. These guys find Big Foot, which is a pretty big adventure in itself. They have made TV shows about people going out looking for Big Foot, which I personally think is a bunch of malarkey. Then these guys decide to play a practical joke on Big Foot and this is all possible because they have Jack Link’s beef jerky.

I came in to write this article thinking that Jack Link’s did a really good job with this commercial, but the more I thought about it, and once I started writing this, I figured out that this ad was actually pretty bad. The good things they did in it were barely good, so I think this is an example we should look at only when trying to figure out what not to do in our ads. This has been my opinion on this ad, I would love it if you left yours in the comment section down below. I would love it if someone wanted to argue one of my points with me, or if you picked up on something that I missed. Together, we can learn more about advertising and make them more entertaining for everyone.


One thought on “Analyzing a Jack Link’s Ad

  1. I always used to keep a pack of Jack Links in my glove compartment as a quick, high protein, low calorie snack and I’m a 50-some year old woman. I no longer buy their brand because I find the Big Foot campaign to be very offensive. As a hiker, camper, biker, plain air painter and overall nature-lover, I think it is irresponsible to encourage people to harass and bully wildlife. It’s not nice & not smart. I’m sure many would say, “Lighten up Lady. We don’t even know if Sasquatch exists!”. But it’s the tone and underlying message of “poking, messing with & baiting wildlife is funny” that I dislike. JackLinks will no longer get my obsessive beef jerky (peppered, of course!) money.


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