Sunday, February 1, 2009

A little bit of history about Jack from Jack in the Box

If you watched the Super Bowl and lived in certain markets, you saw a commerical in which Jack from Jack in the Box got hit by a bus.

It's time to put this into historical perspective, because some people might not know that Jack in the Box has already been killed once.

There is a history of Jack in the Box that provides some of the particulars. The restaurant itself was founded in 1951 by Robert O. Peterson, and passed through several corporate owners over the next couple of decades. Originally the mascot of the chain was, literally, a jack-in-the-box that was displayed outside of every restaurant. Well, that mascot began to get past its expiration date:

Longtime customers will remember Jack as a clown who formerly served atop the company's family-friendly drive-thru speaker box. Then in 1980, he was blown up in a television commercial that signaled a shift toward more adult fare.

If you didn't see it, here's the commercial (not for the squeamish):

For fifteen years, Jack remained in the grave until he re-emerged in 1995 as a well-dressed CEO. But Jack had some scores to settle first:

But Jack the well-dressed CEO was not just a numbers cruncher; Jack, like Harlan Sanders and Jim Koch before him, was insanely devoted to the quality of "his" product. The ad series was successful, and has gone on for years and years.

But has "Jack Box" gone past its expiration date? Probably not, but it was time for a bit of action.

Subsequent videos can be found at

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