Jack in the Box Searches for Social Media Authenticity in New Campaign

Food & Drink

Jack in the Box’s #KEEPIT100 campaign launched today to coincide with the return of the chain’s All-American Ribeye Burger.Credit: Jack in the Box

Perhaps we use filters a little bit too much on social media. Perhaps we embellish our lifestyles in general. Jack in the Box is calling out this trend with some humor as part of its #KEEPIT100 campaign, launched today to coincide with the return of the chain’s All-American Ribeye Burger.

The burger, which includes 100% ribeye cut and seasonings, was first introduced for a limited time last year. It quickly emerged as a fan favorite – enough to convince the company to bring it back for a second go-round.

“We can’t disclose specific sales numbers, but the ribeye positively contributed to sales in Q1 and that is why we brought it back. Consumers responded well,” said Adrienne Ingoldt, vice president of marketing communications at Jack in the Box.

Jack in the Box system same-store sales decreased 0.2 percent during that specific quarter, so the ribeye was one of few bright spots for the company.

The burger – and a second build, the Blue Cheese and Bacon Ribeye Burger – will be available for two months. The social media-centered campaign will also last for two months, kicking off today with a live lie detector test hosted on Jack’s Instagram (@jackinthebox), where it will be live-streamed beginning at 10 a.m. PST and continuing for 24 hours. Other products, including the loaded breakfast sandwich and the pumpkin spice shake, will also be promoted through the campaign.

“We are the first QSR to conduct a live lie detector test, so we’re very excited about this. We want to take a fun, social media-first approach to focus on the trends of consumer habits and call into question if people are being real. We’re in an age of questionable social media authenticity. We all know users use filters, for example, and we’re going to play into that,” Ingoldt said.

As more quick-service brands embrace snark and wit on social media, Ingoldt said Jack in the Box has always done this and is therefore in an especially good position to launch a campaign based on authenticity.

“Jack in the Box always pushes the envelope. Jack himself has a history of calling out ridiculousness and this campaign will play into that and will allow our fans to laugh along with us,” she said. “We believe we’re especially authentic as our brand tone is consistent whether it’s on social media, TV, in PR, digital or in restaurants. We’re not leveraging one platform over the others like some brands seem to be doing. A unique distinction for us is the unapologetic brand tone and voice that we’ve always had – years before Twitter.”

This campaign should especially bode well for Jack in the Box’s younger consumers. A new report from consulting group Irregular Labs shows that 67% of Generation Z consumers want authenticity from brands.

Jack in the Box’s consumers also want culturally-inspired flavors – which explains a menu that features a spicy sriracha burger, chicken fajita pita, egg rolls and tacos. It’s also where the All-American Ribeye comes into play.

“Culturally-inspired flavors includes American culture. Our consumers expect unique products from us. Other brands may not be able to get away with something like this, but this is who we are,” Ingoldt said.

The ribeye burgers include onions, tomato, provolone cheese, mayo, spring mix and a potato bun. The ribeye burger is priced between $5.50-$6.50 based on market and is part of the brand’s barbell menu strategy that balances premium with value. The company’s value menu launched nationwide earlier this year. This dual strategy and extensive menu helps the brand seamlessly roll out new items without many operational hurdles.

“We’re used to selling twice as many items all day long, including egg rolls for breakfast, so adding new items isn’t challenging for us,” Ingoldt said.

Having a solid premium menu, including the ribeye offerings, also positions the quick-service chain well as the competitive set across the foodservice industry blurs.

“Competition has changed in the past few years because of technology and accessibility. It has broadened for everyone. With DoorDash delivery, for example, we compete with Cheesecake Factory,” Ingoldt said. “(Competition has) also changed with the value play. You now have fast casuals offering $3 and $4 deals to increase their traffic. Consumers require convenience and value on top of premium.”

Part of the appeal of the ribeye burgers, she adds, is they allow Jack in the Box to go head to head with some casual brands.

Ingoldt said as the category evolves and competition continues to intensify, Jack in the Box will continue to differentiate itself through both menu and marketing approaches.

“We will continue to engage our customers with humor and wit and do so on social media. The world is now social first and that is where we will speak to our customers,” she said. “While others play into that space and try to take that tone, this is who we’ve always been and who our customers know us to be.”

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