Nicholson Kovac Impresses Houlihan’s

CHICAGO Houlihan’s restaurant chain has tapped independent agency Nicholson Kovac to handle media planning and buying on its $1 million account, according to the agency.

The Kansas City, Mo., agency said it would handle media for all of the company’s corporate-owned restaurants and assist with franchisees as needed. It was unclear whether there was a review.

“We are impressed with Nicholson Kovac’s strategic thinking and innovative approach to media, including finding ingenious, grass-roots solutions for their clients,” said Diana Riddle, director of field marketing for the Leawood, Kan.-based client. “We feel they are uniquely qualified and sized right for meeting our needs.”

Arnold in St. Louis is Houlihan’s creative agency. The Havas-owned shop last summer produced a campaign that depicted mundane office scenarios interrupted by spray-painted text. One execution shows a woman eating lunch alone in a conference room, while another presents a man working in his cubicle. The text headlines included phrases such as “Anarchy begins at lunch” and “It’s 5 o’clock. Do you know where your mojito is?” That tagline was “Live full.”

Houlihan’s, which operates more than 80 restaurants across the country, spent less than $1 million on advertising last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.