Brands That Get It: Jif, Houseplant, pgLang

Natalie Gabrenya

Successfully reaching Gen Z and Millennial consumers is no small feat, so at CLLCTVE, we make it our mission to honor the marketing and communications leaders and strategists who successfully do so. This week, we have a fun assortment of brands who have all utilized their unique niches to reach and connect with their target demographics.


Wendy’s is a American fast food chain well known by many. Although Wendy’s in known by many older generations, they realized that they needed to market towards Gen Z as well. Wendy’s effective did this by creating a character in their namesake that can be played in Fortnite, a popular video game among Gen Z. After their success with Fortnite, Wendy’s then set up a campaign titled “Super Wendy’s World,” where they created characters in the namesake for many other popular video games. After this campaign, Wendy’s sales increased 10% in 2021.


The J.M. Smucker Company’s peanut butter brand Jif is another brand that has been an American staple for many years. Similar to Wendy’s, they also realized that they needed to start marketing towards Gen Z as well. However, Jif did this in a very different way than Wendy’s. They recruited Ludacris to be in their advertisements using peanut butter to aid his rapping. This commercial even had a cameo from Gunna and was the rappers first single for many years. Ludacris and Gunna created an awesome buzz for Jif and helped them effectively market to a younger generation.


Houseplant is Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s cannabis brand that launched in 2019 in Canada and 2021 in the United States. Houseplant has already found amazing success in a lucrative market. However, Houseplant is different from other cannabis companies. They have become extremely popular due to their retro design, unique brand image, and home ware items. Their brand has been described as a cross between the 80s with splash of mid-century modern. At their launch, Seth Rogen said, “Weed has lived under your coffee table, in your sock drawer, in the back of your desk for a long time, and it doesn’t deserve that. It belongs with the other things you feel represent your sensibilities.”


Gap’s athletic brand, Athleta, has recently switched it’s marketing techniques to appeal more to Gen Z as well. Athleta has started to focus much more on it’s reputation and sense of purpose. One way Athleta has done this is by signing and supporting women athletes. Athleta has recently signed American track star Allyson Felix and gymnastics sensation Simone Biles. Both have been featured in recent campaigns and Athleta even helped Allyson Felix launch a $200,000 grant to help cover childcare costs for female professional athletes.


Kenrick Lamar’s new company, pgLang, has created an amazing amount of buzz. In 2020, he tweeted a graphic of “pgLang” and ever since, people have been extremely intrigued by the brand. Baby Keem and Dave Free went on to tweet the graphic as well, furthering the buzz even more. pgLang is a service company for creators. It’s mission statement states, "Our community speaks music, film, television, art, books, and podcasts – because sometimes we have to use different languages to get the point of our stories across. Stories that speak to many nations, many races, and many ages.” pgLang took a unique take to marketing by revealing so little about the company, but just enough to have people talking and curious about what could be to come.

Natalie Gabrenya
Natalie Gabrenya is a Sales Representative here at CLLCTVE. She is a Liberal Studies major at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo graduating this spring.
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