Is This the Most American Bratwurst Ad Ever? Tammy at Johnsonville Sure Hopes So

You can't spell 'sausage' without 'USA'

All the townspeople, and a monumental guest, turn out for Johnsonville's Memorial Day ad. Johnsonville

The phrase “how the sausage gets made” isn’t usually a positive expression, but Johnsonville and Droga5 turn the topic into a patriotic celebration, complete with an employee’s shirt announcing, “You Can’t Spell SaUSAge Without USA.”

Summer is obviously a peak season for bratwurst brands like Johnsonville, and this year the marketing team is doubling down on that connection with a summer promotion reminding consumers of Johnsonville’s American roots. Or, as actual Johnsonville employee Tammy puts it no small number of times, “Johnsonville brats are made in the USA!”

Tammy is the latest Johnsonville employee to contribute an idea for a commercial, and she is the go-big-or-go-home type. Starting with the timeless premise of a mom embarrassing her kid for asking a question (specifically, where Johnsonville sausage comes from), her concept expands into a Broadway-style ensemble piece with firemen, dozens of local dogs, the mayor, and the Statue of Liberty joining the mom in song. The final surprise appearance sparks a chorus of “heck yeahs” from this PG-rated gathering.

Her inclusion of the town hockey team threw me a bit, because it’s rare to find small-town Americans who care that much about hockey. But even so, her idea is a kitschy and fun extension of the campaign.

If you need more creative fuel for your Memorial Day (or sausage purchase) planning, check out the interviews with more Johnsonville employees below:


Client: Johnsonville
Campaign: Made the Johnsonville Way
Title: Made in the USA
Agency: Droga5 NY
Creative Chairman: David Droga
Executive Creative Director: Scott Bell
Creative Director: Kevin Weir
Creative Director: Chris Colliton
Copywriter: Dan Litzow
Art Director: Max Friedman
Executive Producer, Film: Amanda Revere
Executive Producer, Film: Andrew Slough
Senior Business Manager: Whitney Vose
Business Affairs Manager: Abigail Press
Associate Producer, Film: Kelly Appleton
Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
Strategy Director: Ben Brown
Strategist: Newman Granger
Senior Communications Strategist: Kevin Wilkerson
Data Strategy Director: Lily Ng
Data Strategist: Kellie Choy
Account Director: Patrick Rowley
Account Supervisor: Elizabeth Federico
Associate Account Manager: Melissa Pasternak
Project Manager: Hillary Jordan
Project Manager: Kaki White
Associate Counsel: Zach Werner

Client: Johnsonville
Senior Director of Marketing: Ryan Pociask
Integrated Marketing Director: Jamie Schmelzer
Senior Brand Manager: Sean Nobui
Production Company: Arts & Sciences
Director: Adam and Dave
DOP: Toby Irwin
Executive Producer: Mal Ward
Producer: Patrick Harris
Production Designer: Noel McCarthy

Production Company: Second Child
Executive Producer: Scott Chinn
Producer: Sara Vander Horn
DOP: Andrei Bowden Schwartz
Editor: Nick Ljubibich
Assistant Editor: Joe Garst
Editorial: Mackcut
Editor: Ryan Steele
Assistant Editor: Devon Flint
Executive Producer: Gina Pagano
Producer: Margarita Mutuc
Sound Design (Offline): Sam Shaffer

Postproduction: MPC
Executive Producer: Jesse Kurnit
VFX Producer: Aiste Akelaityte
VFX Supervisor: Warren Paleos
2D Lead: Warren Paleos, Bilali Mack
3D Team: Vishal Darkunde
Color EP: Ed Koenig
Color: James Tillett
Color Producer: Jenna Gabriel

Music: Butter Music & Sound
EP/Managing Director: Ian Jefferys
Composer: Josh Canevari
Producer: Kristin Kuraishi
Sound: Mister Bronx Audio Post
Mixer: Eric Hoffman
Producer: Molly Burke David Kiefaber is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak.