Johnsonville: Made The Johnsonville Way

  • For over seventy years, Johnsonville has done things its own way: the Johnsonville Way. It’s a way that puts members (their employees) first and empowers them to have a stake in this family-owned sausage business.

    So in 2016, we took that company mentality to the next level by asking Johnsonville members to come up with the company’s television commercials.

    What started with a number of interviews in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, ended with a car chase, a haunted house and a man talking to his animal friends in the forest. In the second year of work, we once again traveled to Sheboygan Falls and interviewed close to a hundred Johnsonville members. This time, the brief was commercial ideas to launch the brand’s new, flame-grilled chicken product and to advertise it’s classic smoked rope sausage. What we ended up with was a 70s game show where contestants bid “insanely high” on Johnsonville Smoked Sausage, and a Johnsonville member’s glam rock tribute to Johnsonville’s flame-grilled chicken. 

    As it turns out, the best people for coming up with sausage commercials are the people who actually make the sausage.

  • Made The Johnsonville Way 2016

  • Bratsgiving

  • In celebration of Bratsgiving on August 16 (also National Bratwurst Day), Johnsonville and Droga5 created a symbolic hero for the holiday: Carl, the Great Bratsgiver.

    True to the “Made the Johnsonville Way” campaign, the Legend of Carl came from the minds of real Johnsonville employees, and was brought to life through storybook illustrations and animations in the campaign’s hero film.

     Our Bratsgiving celebration included an event at a local YMCA in Kansas City, where the storybook was read aloud to local kids. Carl also took photos with brat lovers, and everyone enjoyed some delicious brats. All proceeds from brat sales—plus a significant donation from Johnsonville—helped renovate the local YMCA’s kitchen and after-school meal program.

  • The Sausage Support Center

  • Back to school is a crazy time of year for families. So in the fall of 2016, Johnsonville armed  parents with a resource for easy sausage dinner ideas by introducing The Sausage Support Center, a direct line to the sausage experts at Johnsonville in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin.

    This next chapter of the “Made the Johnsonville Way” campaign continued to put the company’s employees at the forefront of Johnsonville’s marketing. People were able to call The Sausage Support Center one of two ways: by using The Sausage Phone in the meat aisle of participating grocery stores or by dialing 844-9-SAUSAGE with their regular phones. There were no generic recipes or scripted telephone operators when you called The Sausage Support Center. Johnsonville members gave callers advice on what to make for dinner, and also talked about whatever else came up, from football to fishing.