Industry News | March 5, 2009

Jack in the Box Emerges from Bus Accident Transformed

After languishing for weeks in a hospital bed following a nearly fatal run-in with a bus, Jack, the iconic founder and namesake of Jack in the Box restaurants, emerged from his coma earlier this week and made his first public appearance today. In front of employees at the company’s headquarters, an energized Jack wasted no time getting back to work and announced several initiatives tied to the chain’s brand-reinvention strategy. Jack’s miraculous recovery can be seen in the fourth ad of the chain’s brand campaign, which kicked-off on Super Bowl Sunday.

“It’s great to have Jack back as we continue to invest in a brand-reinvention strategy that provides our guests the best quick-serve dining experience possible,” says Terri Graham, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Jack in the Box Inc. “We’re committed to re-energizing our brand through a comprehensive restaurant re-image program, the introduction of an updated logo, and continued menu innovation that will provide our guests exciting new products they can order anytime day or night. Jack in the Box is one of the only major quick-serve chains that offer its full menu all day.”

Key elements of the company’s brand-reinvention strategy include:

New Logo

The company today introduced a new logo that sends a clear signal to consumers that today’s Jack in the Box is not the Jack of the past. And speaking of Jack, the new logo is infused with the personality of the chain's iconic founder.

"Our new logo reflects how the Jack in the Box brand has evolved in recent years," Graham says. "We're upgrading our menu, service, and restaurants. Now, it's time to upgrade our logo.”

The new Jack in the Box logo, which was tested at several locations in the chain's hometown of San Diego, features the company's signature red hue and cube-style design. But similarities to its tilted, red box predecessor end there. The new logo prominently features the name "Jack" in script lettering above a simpler, low-key "in the Box," with the swooping tail of the "k" in "Jack" mimicking the large, red smile of the chain's icon.

"Many of our guests refer to us simply as 'Jack,' so emphasizing that through the new logo seemed like a natural progression," Graham says.

The new logo will be rolled out on packaging, uniforms and in the company's advertising over the next few months. Restaurant signage will be rolled out over the next three to five years.

New Web site

The company also today announced that a new Jack in the Box website will launch later this month. The site will give visitors the opportunity to view the company’s latest TV ads and step into Jack’s cool, new office. Jack’s virtual office experience will offer a variety of interactive options for fans. For example, visitors can have Jack make personalized phone calls on their behalf and send e-mail messages to their friends. On the site, visitors can also purchase Jack Ca$h cards and view extensive menu and nutritional information.

Restaurant Re-image Program

A major element of the company’s strategic initiative to reinvent the Jack in the Box brand is a comprehensive restaurant re-imaging program that includes a complete redesign of the dining room and common areas. The enhancements are intended to create a warm and inviting dining experience for Jack in the Box guests. To date, 42 percent of the Jack in the Box system features all interior and exterior elements of the program, including ceramic tile floors, a mix of seating styles ranging from booths and bars to high-top round tables, decorative pendant lighting, graphics and wall collages, music, new paint schemes and landscaping.

The company today confirmed that it’s accelerating the pace at which it will enhance restaurant exteriors and expects systemwide completion by the fall of this year. Currently, exterior enhancements are completed at 51 percent of the Jack in the Box system. The company remains on schedule to complete all interior enhancements by the end of 2011.

Menu Innovation

Jack in the Box is known for bucking tradition when it comes to product innovation. It was the first quick-serve to offer a breakfast sandwich, a portable salad and the industry’s first all-sirloin burger. The chain continues to push the envelope on fast-food convention with new and exciting products, including Real Fruit Smoothies and Teriyaki Bowls. Later this month, Jack in the Box will launch a new product platform with the introduction of Mini Sirloin Burgers, which feature a trio of all-sirloin patties topped with American cheese, grilled onions and ketchup served on bakery-style buns reminiscent of Hawaiian sweet rolls.

Social Networking

Though the company’s brand campaign has included multiple TV and radio commercials, the heart of the campaign has resided on the Internet, where the chain’s ads and viral videos have been viewed more than 4.3 million times. Jack in the Box also created an interactive Web site at www.HangInThereJack.com where visitors could view the ads and videos, sign up for e-mail alerts regarding Jack’s condition, and post get-well messages. Jack’s assistant, Barbara, took on the role of updating his Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep fans updated on his health. In the four weeks since the bus accident, more than 77,000 get well wishes and videos were posted on the website and on Jack’s Facebook and MySpace pages and on Twitter. The surge of social networking around Jack continued as more than 67,000 people signed up to receive updates on Jack’s condition through the website, Jack’s Facebook page and Jack’s Twitter account.