McKinney Loses Rest of Krystal

Krystal Restaurants has pulled the creative portion of its ad account from McKinney + Silver, the client confirmed.

The move completes a decision made earlier this year to withdraw all advertising and media duties from the Raleigh, N.C., agency.

Spending on the account, which McKinney won in 2000, had dropped from $15 million to $6 million in 2001, per CMR.

“The business and our organization has evolved,” said client vice president of marketing Gordon Davenport. “We’re more comfortable being the keeper of the positioning and don’t feel like we need an agency of record to be a one-stop shop.”

For now, creative will be assigned to various vendors on a project basis, said Davenport.

One agency recently retained by the 70-year-old chain is McKinney sister shop MPG in New York, a unit of Paris-based Havas. MPG took over media buying in July.

Krystal has also tapped Media-right in Buford, Ga., to create its current television commercials.

“It’s clear that Krystal’s sense of their needs is very different now than it was when they started the relationship,” said McKinney chief executive Brad Brinegar. “We wish them the best of luck.”

Krystal’s needs, said Mediaright president Alan Varnson, are to advertise its menu and its heritage.

“We’ve specialized in endorsement radio for 10 years,” Varnson said. “The challenge was to translate that to television.”

Unlike endorsement radio were on-air personalities are paid to talk about products they use, television spots from Mediaright focus on Krystal customers. Varnson said he interviewed “about 80 regulars” in various Atlanta locations.

Video footage was edited to a handful of 30-second spots that are airing throughout the Southeast. Ads combine customers’ views on particular menu items with their feelings about Krystal.

One commercial features an elderly couple who have been ordering a sack of the square burgers every Sunday for 45 years. “They eat some in the store and take the rest home,” said Varnson.

The couple talks about their Krystal’s ritual, saying, “You can’t beat the [burger’s] consistency over a lifetime.”

Each spot ends with a voiceover narration of McKinney’s tagline, “Little food, big taste.”