Sittig’s Shop Keen To Expand Beyond Jack In The Box
LOS ANGELES–Nearly a year and a half after it was founded to handle creative duties for Jack in the Box, the Kowloon Wholesale Seafood Co. is fishing for a few more prime fillets to add to its client roster.
The unusually titled creative shop, launched by former TBWA Chiat/Day senior vice president and creative director Dick Sittig in March 1997, is quietly pursuing new business now that its one-year exclusivity contract with the San Diego-based fast-food company has expired.
“It would fulfill our business plan to have three accounts,” said Sittig, adding it is too soon to say which clients the agency might target. The shop was approached by Internet search engine Excite several weeks ago, he said, but chose not to pursue its estimated $7 million account. Sittig hinted that the shop is scoping larger prospects, hoping to add $70-100 million in business to the estimated $50 million Jack in the Box account.
Kowloon’s ambitions have the blessing of its flagship client. “It’s absolutely what we anticipated,” said Brad Haley, Jack in the Box’s vice president of marketing communications. “Not being stuck on one account indefinitely helps [agency people] stay fresh. Consequently, this is something that is only going to be good for all of us.”
Sittig formed Kowloon in early 1997, shortly after TBWA Chiat/Day’s Venice, Calif., office resigned Jack in the Box to take on Taco Bell’s $200 million business. He had helped TBWA Chiat/Day reel in the Jack account in 1994 and retained a special arrangement with the agency after leaving in late 1995 to join Hollywood production company Radical Media as a director.
Gearing up for its impending expansion, Kowloon late last month tapped Joe Feldman, a senior planner at TBWA Chiat/Day who has worked on Nissan, Infiniti and ABC, as its planning director. Last year it hired Patrick Adams, a former management director at Lexus agency Team One Advertising, as managing director.
The agency is also slated to move into larger offices in Santa Monica, Calif., in the next month or two.
For now, though, Sittig and his half a dozen staffers are content to devote most of their energy toward creating fun, award-winning creative work for Jack in the Box.
Sittig writes, directs and provides the voice for Jack, the chain’s popular icon and spokesman. At last count, some 50 spots have been shot since Jack’s explosive return four years ago. The latest, which began airing late last month, humorously mocks political advertising while promoting the client’s Classic Shake Combo. The shop is going into production on six more spots in a few weeks.
Previous ads in the 4-year-old campaign have won awards including a gold and silver Lion at the Cannes International Festival, three Clio awards, five Belding Awards and a New York Art Directors award.
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