Jack In The Box "Jack's Back"
Jack In The Box "Jack's Back"

Jack's Back is a 1994 Jack in the Box commercial. It was the first commercial to introduce the Jack Box incarnation of the company's mascot Jack, thereby ushering in the Jack Box Universe.


Jack Box introduces himself to the audience as the founder of Jack in the Box as he walks to the company's headquarters, with a newspaper and briefcase in hand. With a tone of resentment in his voice, he asks viewers if they remember when he was "fired." A few seconds of Jack exploding from a 1980 commercial is shown. Jack then enters a revolving door and explains he's had to regain his "rightful place" as head of Jack in the Box, placing emphasis on the word "head". He enters an elevator with a few other people and rides it up to a top floor. Stepping out, he says he's back, crediting "the miracle of plastic surgery" for his return and declares he's "ready to make Jack in the Box better than ever." He stops outside a room and looks up at a sign indicating it's the Jack in the Box boardroom, then looks back at the audience. He pulls out a remote control device from his suit jacket and pulls out the antenna. In a dramatic act of vengeance, he pushes a button that causes a large explosion to go off in the boardroom, presumably injuring or murdering the occupants within. 

The commercial cuts to a Jack in the Box bag with the tagline "Jack's Back." falling from above onto a reflective surface. A second bag with the Jack in the Box logo lands directly in front of it.

Continuity errors

  • Jack's briefcase and newspaper disappear at some point.
  • The commercial aired in late 1994, but according to the company Facebook page, Jack did not become CEO until the following year.[1] It is possible that perhaps the commercial actually took place later than it actually aired, taking place in 1995 despite airing in 1994.

Behind the scenes

In 1993, a major food contamination crisis was linked to Jack in the Box restaurants and by 1994, a series of lawsuits and negative publicity took their tolls and pushed their corporate parent, Foodmaker Inc. to the verge of bankruptcy. In the short term, they decided to promote their initiatives on food safety and then approved a new guerilla advertising campaign created by Richard Sittig. The campaign brought back their original mascot, Jack, as a savvy, no-nonsense businessman. "Jack's Back" was the first commercial in the campaign.

The commercial first aired in late December 1994 in Phoenix, Sacramento and St. Louis, then expanded to other areas in early 1995.[2]

Reflecting on the success of the campaign in 2008, Sittig observed, "Even though it was all fiction, people said, 'OK, I guess there's a new guy running the place,' and customers started coming back."[3]


The scene at the end where Jack detonates a bomb and destroys the board room was met with controversy, as it occurred at nearly the same time as several domestic bombings hitting the news in those days. Nonetheless, the ad agency and the corporation stuck by the new campaign, as their intent was to prove to a wary public that the company was no longer the same restaurant chain plagued by the food safety scandal, and because the commercials had a definite humorous element to them that undermined the alleged "retribution" that Jack was supposedly demonstrating in these commercials. "The fact that it's done in a cartoonishly humorous fashion hopefully will make any connection with any real-world events a stretch to make," claimed marketing executive Brad Haley.[2] Overall, the public responded positively, despite initial controversy surrounding the commercial.


  1. Facebook timeline (1995)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sakson, Steve. Jack in the Box Launches Explosive Ad Campaign. Associated Press via Los Angeles Times. December 28, 1994.
  3. Semuels, Alana. This advertising shop knows Jack. Los Angeles Times. February 7, 2008.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.