How Johnsonville and Uber Got Grandmas in Little Car-Houses to Deliver Sausages in Chicago

Sausage Nonnas had a busy Sunday

Headshot of Tim Nudd

If you saw three little houses screaming down the Dan Ryan expressway in Chicago on Sunday, being pulled by pickup trucks, with real Italian grandmas on board, ready to deliver sausages—well, that was a Johnsonville ad campaign.

The sausage maker teamed up with Uber for the "Sausage Nonnas" stunt, which featured the Italian grandmas—known as "nonnas"—delivering free homemade sausage meals to Chicagoans who requested delivery through the Uber app. Users could select a "Nonnas" option on the Uber home screen and track their delivery as the tiny house icon neared.

The stunt, orchestrated by Droga5, seems a little random, but the images of the nonnas in action are pretty amusing. They delivered sausage rigatoni, lasagna or Italian sausage and meatballs, by the way.

"Delivering homemade sausage meals throughout the city of Chicago is great in and of itself, but having authentic Italian nonnas cook and deliver those meals raises the bar to a whole new level," said Ryan Pociask, senior director of marketing at Johnsonville. "We are proud to have the opportunity to collaborate with Uber on this project and are looking forward to a fun-filled Sunday."

"Uber is always on the look-out for fun and unique partnerships that delight our users," added Amy Friedlander Hoffman, head of experiential marketing at Uber. "How better to bring joy to Chicago than delivering warm, personable Italian grandmas in tiny homes with free, homecooked meals on demand?"

Lots more pics and videos, as well as credits, below.


Client: Johnsonville Sausage, LLC

Campaign: Sausage Sunday

Title: "Sausage Nonnas"

Agency: Droga5 NY

Creative Chairman: David Droga

Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer

Group Creative Director: Scott Bell

Senior Copywriter: Chris Colliton

Senior Art Director: Kevin Weir

Junior Copywriter: Ryan Snyder

Junior Art Director: Katie Willis

Design Director: Rich Greco

Designer: Dan Kane

Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale

Head of Broadcast Production: Ben Davies

Senior Broadcast Producer: Anders Hedberg

Head of Interactive Production: Niklas Lindstrom

Senior Interactive Producer: Tasha Cronin

Associate Interactive Producer: Alyssa Cashman

Associate Social Producer: Gabrielle Nicoletti

Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer

Group Strategy Director: Aaron Wiggan

Senior Strategist: Candice Chen

Senior Data Strategist: Lily Ng

Communications Strategy Director: Brian Nguyen

Communications Strategist: Stuart Augustine

Group Account Director: Julia Albu

Account Director: Dave Murphy

Account Manager: Kate Tyler Monroe

Project Manager: Rayna Lucier

Client: Johnsonville Sausage, LLC

Sr. Director of Marketing: Ryan Pociask

Group Marketing Director: Jim Mueller

Marketing Creative Director: Tony Rammer

Public Relations & Social Media Manager: Stephanie Dlugopolski

Partner: Uber

Business Development & Experiential Marketing: Ryan Foutty

Communications: Sarah Maxwell

Global Marketing Operations: Heidi Vance

Marketing Manager: Deirdre Dellaportas

Marketing Manager: Amanda Middlebrooks

Production Company: D5 Films

Editorial & Post Production: D5 Studios

Experiential Production Company: NA Collective


@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.