Wonderful Pistachios Get Back to Crackin’
What do an Olympic swimming medalist, Kermit The Frog, the Angry Birds and a dominatrix have in common?
They all showed up in Wonderful Pistachio’s “Get Crackin’” campaign, which ran from 2009 to 2016 and turned the brand into the country’s number one tree nut. And now it’s back.
With their new, Pac-Man starring spot, Wonderful Pistachio’s (and their in-house Wonderful Agency) are aiming for a high score in effectiveness. As well as the clever revival of an older campaign, there’s that celebrity cameo and cultural reference and very strong use of the brand’s current distinctive assets like its signature shade of green. For a 15 second ad, there’s a lot going on.
The “Get Crackin’” ads helped Wonderful Pistachios to its huge 2010s growth and its current market leading status. The ads the brand has run since putting “Get Crackin’” on hiatus have been strong – there are several 4-Star examples in the Test Your Ad database. So Wonderful Pistachios isn’t bringing its most famous campaign back because it has to, and it can do so from a position of marketing strength.
But it’s certainly the case that the campaign had something very special. Plenty of ads use celebrities – the joy of “Get Crackin’” was that the range of celebrities was so wide and unpredictable, from quintuplet babies to top-tier Hollywood names. The reveal of who was cracking open their pistachio nuts became part of the excitement – especially during the Super Bowl, where Wonderful Pistachios were a regular advertiser.
The return of the campaign has kept that unpredictable celebrity angle. If anything it’s gone further. As well as Pac-Man, there’s nursery rhyme hero Humpty Dumpty and a Boston Dynamics robot dog in the 2023 ads. The Pac-Man spot scored best in Test Your Ad, though, with a very strong 4.4-Star score and Exceptional short-term Spike metrics.
Returning to old assets is a smart move for a brand. When a slogan like “Get Crackin’” has filtered through to become part of popular culture, it can provide an immediate boost to Brand Fluency via recognition, and if it’s been away for a while there might be a nostalgic lift too.
As we know from our own recent experiments, “wear-out” is largely a myth [LINK], and older work can be a brand’s most underused resource. The return of “Get Crackin” underlines these points – Wonderful Pistachios ads can struggle for Fluency, and the Pac-Man ad achieves one of their best Fluency scores.
From a 2023 perspective, the original “Get Crackin’” feels ahead of its time. Shortform content based around a goofy challenge – how do you get your pistachios open? – was a fun ad concept in 2009. Now, memes and challenges are what drive content success across dozens of social media platforms, but especially TikTok. Other snack brands can rack their brains trying to work out how to win attention and success in the TikTok era. We can honestly say that Wonderful Pistachios, way back in 2009, had already cracked it.