Cannes Lions

Lil Jif Project

PUBLICIS, New York / JIF / 2022

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In the U.S., Jif is the peanut butter category leader but was losing to brands that were outspending us on millennials. Data showed many former buyers moved away from Jif unconsciously, especially young consumers. The brand needed to do more to win over those younger households. After being outspent for over a year, Jif would have to find a way to breakthrough and reclaim relevance again. Our mission: Get today’s younger PB buyers to go nuts for Jif even as it was getting outshouted and outspent by its biggest rival. To not only reach but emotionally connect with our younger, more passionate peanut butter lovers meant engaging with their interests on platforms in which they actively participate.


To this generation, rap music is king. And in the past decade, a heated rivalry has emerged - lyrical rap vs. mumble rap. The latest generation of rappers, often referred to as “mumble rappers,” has been described as sounding like they rap with a mouthful of peanut butter.

So we thought: What if Jif, America’s biggest peanut butter brand, could get everyone to embrace it? And with that The Lil Jif Project was born.

We enlisted one of the world’s top lyrical rappers, Ludacris, and with the help of millennial rap star Gunna, recorded an original rap track with mumbled vocals that was later revealed to have been inspired by his inability to stop eating Jif Peanut Butter in the recording booth.


For Jif to engage, we needed to partner with insider hip-hop legend Ludacris and new school rapper Gunna to authentically bridge the generational divide. This placed the brand in the center of the debate rather than as an outsider looking in.

And as with all things, the devil was in the details. We learned that while it was a common colloquialism to refer to new school rappers as “mumble rappers,” some felt it was a derogatory term. We had to be mindful not to come across as making fun of, or culturally appropriating, the rap community. This was especially important given our summer 2021 launch when much focus was on giving Black creators their appropriate credit and compensation.

Partnering with credible representatives of the genre allowed us to reinvest in the community we were borrowing from and strike the appropriate tone and messaging for new audiences to engage with Jif.


Our plan had three parts:

1) Song Release: Ludacris, a self-proclaimed Jif-lover and legendary rapper, would release his first single in over six years; it wouldn’t sound like the old Ludacris, but instead have a modern trap beat and near-incomprehensible “mumbled” lyrics - A true departure from his traditional roots. The partnership was even teased in the lyrics within the song: “Spreading my gift like Jif.”

2) Reveal: After a weekend of rap fans debating over his new sound, Jif revealed that Ludacris’s new sound was caused by his not being able to resist a delicious mouthful of Jif, even while recording in the studio.

3) Invite fans to try rapping with a mouthful of Jif: To get Jif in the music scene on TikTok, Ludacris kicked off the #JifRapChallenge, inviting all TikTokers to rap with a mouthful of Jif.


Jif became the most talked about brand, more than doubling Skippy’s share of voice during the campaign, seeing a +148% branded mentions vs. previous 2-week average. Branded mentions do not include TikTok, which saw over 7.3B total views, 3x the expected views based on spend and 4x engagement vs. the benchmark. The success of the challenge directly correlated with a 2x increase in web traffic spike against the previous week. Our audience was hungry to get their hands on the product. The biggest testament to the success of the campaign is the impact to the business. Despite a category contraction and being outspent for more than a year by its biggest competitor, Jif boosted share by 3.4 pts at the expense of Private Label and Skippy, giving it the highest category share in over 10 years.

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