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Advertising / Jack in the Box

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"And, hey, if I'm saying something that's not true... DO something about it."
Fast food chain Jack in the Box has aired a series of commercials since 1994, most of them featuring their company mascot Jack — a man in a business suit whose head is a large plastic-looking clown head. He's supposed to be the original mascot who was eliminated in 1980 by being blown up; he explains in the first commercial that he's back via the miracle of plastic surgery. He then took back the company by blowing up the old board of directors. This ad campaign was created in part to symbolize a revitalized Jack in the Box, following an Audience-Alienating Era where the chain went "upscale" in the 1980s, then a massive E. coli outbreak in 1993. It worked swimmingly, and the campaign's never stopped.

A 2010 commercial where he argued with a chef about selling pancakes that resemble his face became a Memetic Mutation, especially for the last line: "You ATE his face?!"

You ATE his Tropes?

  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: "Patty, call the doctor! It's been more than four hours! Hi, Jack."
  • Authority Sounds Deep: Jack Box is often depicted as the company's CEO in commercials, especially those from the '90s and early 2000s. Jack has a calm, deep voice provided by Rick Sittig. Jack is sometimes a bit hard on his employees, but only because he wants the best for the company and its customers.
  • Benevolent Boss: Jack (assuming you don't do anything to set him off).
  • Berserk Button: Jack has a few of them, but the biggest one is to suggest racketing up the price of his value menu.
  • Big Eater: One stoner at the drive-thru misread a sign for "2 tacos for 99 cents" as "99 tacos for 2 cents" and tried ordering that. When Jack corrected him and asked if he really was planning to eat 99 tacos, the stoner affirmed he did.
  • Bring It: In one commercial, Jack talks about how Burger King's motto "Have it your way" isn't true because you can't order every menu item at any time of day, while at Jack in the Box, you can. He then stands in front of a Burger King restaurant and challenges the viewer to "do something about it" if they think he's lying, but not before ripping off the sleeves of his suit to reveal big, muscular arms. He even does a "come at me" gesture.
    Jack: And, hey, if I'm saying something that's not true... (rips off his sleeves) do something about it.
  • Cardboard Box of Unemployment: The chef who ate Jack's face holds one after getting fired sitting at a bus stop.
  • Change the Uncomfortable Subject: "Jack RAPS With Young People". Not even he has an answer on how to discover one's sexual identity, and ends up talking about his Jumbo Jack in an attempt to avoid talking about it. Somehow, this works.
  • Chick Magnet: Jack is shown to be quite popular with women and often finding ways to make his products appealing to them.
  • Competing Product Potshot:
    • Jack has a knack for calling out other competitors like McDonald's and Burger King, and at one point ran an ad campaign that chewed out the two offending companies for using microwaves and storage facilities for their meats. He did open up a hotline for their managers to call in order to help change their ways, but considering he spent 155 days without a single call from either of them, it's safe to assume they never did.
    • They also made light of the Angus beef craze when they introduced their sirloin burgers. In one commercial, one of the advertising people asks Jack to point out the "Angus" cut, making a circle motion with his pen, clearly referencing a body part that "Angus" rhymes with, and implying that "Angus" beef had something to do with something...not conventionally edible.
      Jack: I'd rather not.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jack. If he can get the last word in, he will.
  • The Dentist Episode: The commercial for the free tacos promotion in 2010 has Jack at the dentist's for a tooth extraction, delirious from the anesthetic.
    Jack (deliriously looking at the comically large extracted tooth): That's a big tooth!
  • Department of Redundancy Department: His Bacon Bacon Cheeseburger. Apparently Jack settled on the name when his wife teased him over the phone with what she was wearing.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: "The Visitor" has Jack showing up to a man's house late at night, demanding he gives his burgers another shot and apologize for calling his food "Junk In The Box". When he refuses, Jack chases after him, pins him to the ground and force feeds him "his best burger ever".
  • Feud Episode: One commercial had Jack breaking up a fight between curly fries and seasonal fries as they exchanged insults like "Pencil neck!" and "Pig tail!"
  • Funny Flashback Haircut: In the Hot Mess ad, Jack is in an 80's rock band and sports a long frizzy wig with a bandana instead of his usual cone.
  • Gone Horribly Right: At one point, Jack sends an intern to Philadelphia to learn how to make authentic cheesesteaks for his menu. It works a little too well when the intern ends up Going Native with Totally Radical slang and acting sleazy to one of the female employees.
  • He's Back!: The famous "Jack's Back" commercial from 1994, where Jack, who had previously been blown up and discontinued, gets his revenge by blowing up the Boardroom.
  • How Dad Met Mom: A spot for the Hot Mess burger had Jack in an 80's rock band, with one female fan getting really into his music. The spot ends by cutting to the modern Jack watching the scene on tape, pausing right before the fan takes off her shirt, and telling his son, "And that's how I met your mom."
  • Innocent Innuendo: His Teriyaki Bowls commercial has him asking people to "Try My Bowls". His marketing manager tries to talk him out of airing the commercial, but Jack didn't see what was so wrong with it. This also extends to "People Love My Bowls", "Check Out My Bowls", and even pans to a billboard saying "Enjoy My Bowls". There's even a cut-out of Jack saying "It Takes Bowls To Serve Teriyaki!" in the background.
  • Living Snowman: Jack's head resembles a snowman's down to the carrot nose.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: Jack's explanation in the first ad for how he recovered from being blown up back in 1980.
  • Malaproper: In one advert, Jack's son presents to his elementary school at an assembly that he wants to be a "vegetarian" instead of a restauranteur like his father. This leaves Jack and everyone at the assembly disappointed until he reveals that the family took their dog to the "vegetarian" once.
  • Prison Episode: One commercial has Jack visiting a relative of his who is sitting in prison. Jack mentions his Quad Bonus Jack combo for only $3.99 where you can get a Quad Jack plus fries and a drink, and his relative laments not being able to enjoy that since all he gets to eat in prison is meatloaf.
  • Raging Stiffie: Implied in one spot where Jack's visiting home, and his father bursts in distressed and tells Jack's mom, "Patti, call the doctor, (looks down at crotch) it's been more than four hours." Jack decides to leave after this.
  • Revenge by Proxy: During the "Change Their Ways" advertisement campaign, Jack came to this deduction while trying to call Burger King's owners and finding out that the chain was owned by British-based company Grand Metropolitan at the time. According to him, the United Kingdom was still salty over losing America back in the 1700's and decided to get even with them by using microwaved Whoppers to insult them on their own ground.
  • Self-Deprecation: The debut "Jack's Back" ad has Jack blowing up his own company's boardroom. It's ostensibly revenge for firing him in the past, but it's also almost certainly referencing the 1993 E. coli outbreak that nearly torpedoed the company. The sequence even plays the minimalist string music the company used in their '80s/early '90s ads to drive the point home.
  • Serious Business: He treats his meals very seriously. Suggesting something that is out of the norm would be enough to get a rise out of him.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Jack is usually depicted wearing suits.
  • Take That!: One ad had a doctor (who was constantly doing a Glasses Pull...without ever putting the glasses back on) who claimed that Jack in the Box's new bacon cheddar potato wedges and stuffed jalapenos could remove wrinkles, prevent hair loss, etc. Jack asks the ad exec responsible where he found this guy. "A tobacco company."
  • The Stoner: There were two commercials advertising their tacos featuring someone at the drive-thru window getting confused by the menu and being helped by imagining a bobblehead of Jack talking to him. In both, he definitely has the munchies.
    Stoner: How many should I get?
    Jack: (thumbs up) Thirty.
    Stoner: That’s what I was thinking!
  • The Talk: Played with in one spot. Jack's son asks Jack what the difference is between boys and girls. Jack gets an awkward expression and simplifies it to girls enjoying pretty things and boys enjoying meat. Jack's son gets distracted by a caterpillar and stops listening anyway.
  • The Theme Park Version: In one commercial, Jack is having an argument with the director over his refusal to wear a ridiculously large cowboy hat to complete the getup, saying it's "too cliche".
  • Wingding Eyes:
    • Jack had X-eyes after being knocked out by an oncoming bus for the first two commercials of the "Hang In There Jack" campaign.
    • Jack has spiral eyes from being anesthetized in the dentist commercial.