J Walter Thompson creates first work for John West, reviving ‘It’s what John West rejects’ brand positioning

J Walter Thompson has unveiled its first work for Simplot’s John West since being appointed to the account in November last year.

The campaign brings John West’s ‘It’s what John West rejects that makes John West the best’ brand platform back and features a fish with a cloudy eye and droopy fins.

Kieran Antill, executive creative director at J Walter Thompson Melbourne, said the campaign aimed to make the ‘No from John West’ platform engaging and reinforce John West’s quality of products.

“The brand has a long history in Australia with its core proposition ‘It’s what John West rejects, that makes John West the best’, but it needed to be reinforced to ensure relevance to a younger and ever price-conscious consumer.

“Research also showed that because the line hadn’t been used for a number of years, many Australians had lost touch with its meaning, or in the case of younger audiences, were not aware of it at all.

“Many marketers would kill for a brand line as great as ‘It’s what John West rejects that makes John West the best’. Ok, yes, it’s long, but its meaning is worth it. It takes a decisive decision by a brand to say ‘enough is enough’ and in this case our task was clear – let’s get back the enduring message of rejection that underpins the quality of all John West products – the power of saying no!”

The campaign is running across social, out-of-home and television.

J Walter Thompson won the account late last year after incumbent Cummins&Partners had to relinquish it when it picked up Kraft Heinz.


  • Client: Simplot
  • General Manager Marketing: Suzanne Harman
  • Head of Marketing Communication and Brand: Justin Taylor
  • Marketing Manager: Taryn Kerr
  • Agency: J. Walter Thompson Melbourne
  • Exec. Creative Director: Kieran Antill
  • Creative Directors: Jess Lilley & Jim Walsh
  • Art Director: Monica Placella
  • Copy Writer: Katie Moore
  • TV Producer: Sandi Gracin
  • Print Producer: Miryana Velyanovski
  • Head of Planning: Simon McCrudden
  • Senior Planner: Brigitte Bayard
  • Group Account Director: Jessica Johnson
  • Senior Account Manager: Lizzie Barclay
  • Production co: FINCH
  • Director: Jae Morrison
  • EP: Corey Esse & Karen Bryon
  • Producer: Sarah Cook
  • Offline Edit: FINCH
  • VFX: Blockhead
  • Audio: Nylon
  • Media Agency: OMD

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