Fallon Sees Creative Opportunity in Long John

Fallon McElligott chief marketing officer Mark Goldstein admits Long John Silver’s doesn’t rank as one of the “blue-chip brands” the agency commits to in its mission statement, but he expects the shop can turn it into one.
“We think we can make them an absolute leader in their category,” Goldstein said. “We love the idea of rejuvenating a brand.”
As expected, the Lexington, Ky., company, which is emerging from bankruptcy, tapped the Minneapolis shop to handle creative and media planning duties on its $40 million account after a review that included Campbell Mithun Esty in Minneapolis and Rubin Postaer and Associates, Chicago and Santa Monica, Calif. [Adweek, March 27].
The shop’s last stab at the fast-food category was the ill-fated introduction of the Arch Deluxe for McDonald’s in 1996. Goldstein said the category was not one the agency had been yearning to re-enter.
Goldstein’s past relationship with LJS president and chief operating officer Ron Powell–the two had worked together when Powell was at Roy Rogers, Big Boy and Hardee’s and Goldstein was at agencies that handled them–drew Fallon into the review and helped it win the business.
“The fact that Ron was running this company was the No. 1 thing that got me excited about this opportunity,” Goldstein said.
The agency is expected to break a branding campaign for the company by early summer. The shop intends to “reconnect consumers” with the brand, Goldstein said. The shop views the account as “our Jack-In-The-Box,” referring to the respected creative work done for that chain.
Long John Silver’s was purchased in September by A&W Restaurants, subsequently forming Yorkshire Global Restaurants. The company spent $26 million on advertising last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Media buying will remain split between Empower MediaMarketing in Cincinnati and Active Media in New York. K