J.M. Smucker brings Uncrustable (and his brother) to Canada

Who: The J.M. Smucker Co., with Leo Burnett for creative; HouseSpecial for production, animation, editorial and online; Pinata Post for transfer; and Grayson Music for audio.

What: A new TV spot to help launch the Uncrustables brand in Canada. It’s an original spot, adapting two animated characters introduced in the U.S. last year.

When & Where: The TV spot just launched, and is running as cutdowns for social and OLV.

Why: Since buying Crustables in 1998, the ready-made, crustless peanut butter and jam sandwiches have become a huge success for Smucker. According to a recent article in The Wall St. Journal about their enduring popularity with adults (“The grown-ups who can’t quit Uncrustables”), sales were expected to grow 20% this year to $800 million.

Smucker CEO Mark Smucker told Bloomberg earlier this year that it has done virtually no marketing for the snack food because “until recently, we could not make enough.” But the introduction of a new factory allowed them to ramp up production and bring the brand to Canada.

The launch spot uses the two characters who are brothers separated at birth—Uncrustable, and the less-loved-and-he-knows it, Crust. The pair were introduced last year by Smucker’s bespoke Publicis Groupe agency PSOne, and brought to Canada to help explain the snack to anyone who hadn’t heard of it before.

“[T]to launch this product lineup in a big way, we looked to personify the brand through two animated characters that are featured in our advertising efforts south of the border,” said Adam Zitney, VP marketing at The J.M Smucker Co., in a release. “Through a unique Canadian launch execution, we are looking to drive relevance and trial with Canadians while supporting our global brand building ambitions.”

How: The spot opens with Uncrustable excited about a billboard inviting consumers to try Uncrustables, described as “PB&J-filled deliciousness.”

“Isn’t it something, our very own billboard,” says the happy Uncrustable, before the less excited Crust shows up. “Where’s the crust brother, there is no crust,” though there is a little happy ending for him when they look closer at the billboard.

“New Uncrustables, the best part of the sandwich,” says a voiceover to close the spot, before explaining that they are now available in grocery freezer aisles.

“The characters have a dynamic that’s so different from everything else in the market,” said Steve Persico, co-CCO at Leo Burnett Toronto. “That brotherly love and brotherly tension is such a fun lens to create work through, especially when you put them in a place they’ve never been, like Canada.”

The Blue Jay connection: As a sponsor of the Toronto Blue Jays, baseball fans will have seen short ads featuring George Springer and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. that have been running during Jays games for several weeks now. (See one below.)

And we quote: “Campaigns that cross boarders are always a huge team effort, and this was no exception.” adds Zitney. “And we couldn’t be more excited for Canada to meet Uncrustable and his crusty brother for the first time.”

David Brown