Cracker Jack Created Cracker Jill to Support Female Athletes
Asked to develop a campaign backing women's equality in sports, PR agency Ketchum decided to give the beloved mascot of Frito-Lay's 125-year-old Cracker Jack brand an empowering makeover. The team reimagined "Sailor Jack" as "Cracker Jill" for an initiative timed to the new Major League Baseball season.
"From the moment they pitched the idea, we saw the vision and knew it wasn't a matter of if we should do it, but how quickly we could get started," Tina Mahal, VP of marketing at Frito-Lay North America, tells Muse. "Reimagining an iconic brand is never easy, but the response has been overwhelmingly positive—and this is just the beginning for Jill."
Make that Jills, actually, as five diverse versions of the character appear on special-edition packages available in ballparks across the country and through donations of $5 or more to the non-profit Women's Sports Foundation:
"The five different representations of Jill were made to celebrate the remarkable diversity throughout the country, and they were inspired by the most represented ethnicities, per the U.S. Census Bureau, with the hope that millions of girls and women see a part of themselves," Mahal says.
The move generated beaucoup coverage for the cause. Cracker Jack committed $200,000 to the WSF, too, and tapped platinum-selling singer Normani for an updated spin on "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."
"Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out to the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jill,
No one can stop you if you have the will.
So let's root, root, root for a girl's dream.
We're adding our face to the game,
And we'll run, throw, never a doubt it's a new ball game."
"Given that the campaign centers around representation, we knew we wanted someone who is a fierce supporter of women and a trailblazer in her industry," says Mahal. "That guiding lens led us to Normani. While Cracker Jill is representative of women in the sports industry, Normani also serves as an example, a role model and an inspiration for many girls and women."
"As a young girl, I remember being inspired by athletes and artists who looked like me," says Normani. "They made me believe that I could also achieve greatness as I watched them break barriers for women."
Jill joins remade whisky icon Jane Walker, introduced by Johnnie Walker in 2018. Moving forward, Cracker Jack plans to make Jill a permanent lineup fixture.
This year, Title IX celebrates its 50th anniversary of reshaping the sports landscape for women and girls, generating brand initiatives designed to close the gender gap. AT&T, Buick, Degree, Pure Leaf and the YWCA, among others, launched notable campaigns, while Michelob Ultra pledged $100 million in media time to women's sports through 2027.
Chief Marketing Officer – Rachel Ferdinando
Vice President, Brand Marketing – Tina Mahal
Senior Brand Director – Flavia Simoes
Marketing Director – Curtis Calloway
Associate Marketing Manager – Hannah Sheffield
Communications Director – Ashley Capps
Communications Manager – Alejandra Suarez
Senior Vice President, Account Director – Ilana Shenitzer
Senior Vice President, Executive Creative Director – Ben Therrien
Vice President, Account Lead – Travis Culver
Vice President, Media Lead – Erica Saviano Tsioustas
Vice President, Media Lead – Marissa Kandel
Account Supervisor – Gabrielle Scheder-Bieschin
Account Supervisor – Kelsey Kolisek
Account Supervisor – Cristian Gonzalez
Account Executive – Kevin Hyde
Associate Media Specialist – Olivia Olson
Account Coordinator – Javen Joerger
Executive Producer – Bob Peterson
Exec. Field Producer – Josh Francis
Associate Producer – Matt Winkler
Editor – Brett Donohue
Shaker Maker (Talent)
CEO, Emma Quigley
Vice President, Music & Entertainment, Michael Monahan
Creative Director – Ro Haber
Production Manager – Trent Kamerman
The Team Co., Senior Business Manager Daniella Stollman
APR Co., Senior Advisor (off-site) Carol Pock
Baseball for All Stunt Coordinator: Justine Siegal "Baseball for All" Girls Team
Director of Photography – Madeline Leach
Still Photographer – Blair Caldwell
Photo Digital Tech – Mitchell Guerrero
Photo Asst. – Leo De La Riva Ruiz
2nd Photo Asst. – Paul Au
Steadicam – Justin Danzansky
Sound – Luiza Sa
1st AC – Kyle Summer
2nd AC –Amber Buchanan
Set PA 1 – Joni Vincent
Set PA 2 – Elizabeth Muirbrook
Key Grip – Charles Tae
Grip – Gabriel Lee
Grip Driver – Steven Miller
Gaffer–– Jihan Casquejo
DIT – Jamie Yu
Art Director – Clarisse Rodriguez