By Barry Janoff
May 17, 2013: Fans infinitum have been singing the words to “Take Me Out To The Ball Game,” which includes the line, “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, I don’t care if I never back.”
Now, there’s a new Cracker Jack’D in town, and it ain’t your grandfather’s caramel-covered popcorn snacking food or the product immortalized by the song’s authors, Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer, anymore.
The rebranded and remodeled Cracker Jack’D, a division of PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay, has gone hard core. The brand has signed deals with hip-hop musicians Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, uber-automotive design firm West Coast Customs and actress Ashley Tisdale – not the High School Musical version but the woman on the cover of the current Maxim magazine – to tout a new line of flavors.
They include Intense Mix Spicy Pizzeria and Buffalo Ranch, Power Bites Vanilla Mocha and Cocoa Java and, with a nod to health-oriented consumers, a line of granola and nut Hearty Mixes.
Tisdale, wearing much more than she did for her Maxim photo shoot, was handing out samples this week in New York’s Manhattan Flat Iron district. The event officially launched a 16-week sampling tour in that will feature a soup-up vehicle designed by West Coast Customs and ticket giveaways to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis concerts.
Tisdale, along with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and the guys from West Coast Customs, will also be part of a national multi-media marketing campaign. Along for the ride is the iconic Sailor Jack and his dog Bingo, which have been part of packaging and marketing almost from the start, although here in a backseat role to the more high-profile spokespersons now on board.
“Today’s male customers are looking for intense tastes and more satisfying snack options that can easily fit into their busy lifestyles."
Missing, however, will be the cheesy yet fun toys that came in each package.
“Today’s male customers are looking for intense tastes and more satisfying snack options that can easily fit into their busy lifestyles,” David Skena, vp-marketing for Frito-Lay, said in a statement. “Cracker Jack’D is unique because of the way it combines hard-working ingredients, different textures, flavors and innovative packaging in a way that works best for on-the-go consumers.”