- Jack in the Box released its first-ever horror short, “Feeding Time,” to mark the return of the brand’s Monster Tacos and the debut of a new Angry Monster Tacos menu item, per details shared with Marketing Dive.
- The broader campaign, created in collaboration with TBWA\Chiat\Day LA, also includes short-form spots that will run on linear, streaming and digital video platforms.
- An Angry Monster Truck featured in the “Feeding Time” short will hit the streets of Los Angeles on Oct. 21, and consumers can book the truck for their own Halloween parties via Resy starting Oct. 24.
Jack in the Box is embracing the spirit of Halloween for a multichannel campaign that includes a short, ad spots, experiential activations and more. Inspired by the chain’s new Angry Monster Tacos, the effort taps into the brand’s humorous streak and seeks to disrupt a Halloween marketing season that is often rated PG.
“Jack in the Box has here resisted the much more common route of leveraging Halloween for a few simple visual cues and gags in order to seem timely,” said Jeff O’Keefe, creative director at agency partner TBWA\Chiat\Day LA, in a statement. “Instead, we’ve taken inspiration from culture, and sought to offer up an authentic piece of culture ourselves, respecting fans’ intelligence and catering to their desires while also seamlessly including our product.”
“Feeding Time” takes place on Halloween night, initially following two young trick-or-treaters before pivoting to three spooky-masked teens who steal their candy. The teens are then pursued through foggy streets and a graveyard by a Free Angry Monster Tacos truck that plays a warped version of familiar jack-in-the-box music and hides monstrous tentacles. The story features a cameo from the QSR chain’s mascot, who sings Len’s “Steal My Sunshine” before driving away from the scary truck. Eventually, the truck catches the teens and provides the kids with free tacos — and their stolen candy.
The short was written by Marcus Dunstan, Asha Michelle Wilson, Patrick Melton and Kara Lee Corthron — Hollywood writers with experience on “American Horror Story: 1984,” “Servant” and the “Saw” film franchise. It was directed by Marcus Dunstan and provided a creative opportunity for writers and other film crew who had been impacted by the WGA writers strike that ended on Oct. 9 after more than five months.
The short and related spots will play on a variety of channels, extending the reach of the campaign. A 30-second live-action spot will run on Hulu’s Huluween programming and 15-second food-focused ads will run on linear/sports TV, premium streaming and digital video via Hulu, YouTube, Paramount and Twitch. The short will also appear on Jack in the Box’s YouTube and owned social channels.
The short additionally features a hidden code to encourage use of the brand’s app. The first 1,000 members of the Jack Pack loyalty program get two free tacos with a purchase, only on the app. To bring the campaign beyond the screen, Jack in the Box will drive the Angry Monster Truck around LA on Oct. 21 before opening it to consumer reservations on Oct. 24 via online reservations platform Resy.