Rookie Shop Lands Jiffy Lube

“Who the hell are these guys?” McCarthy Mambro Bertino CEO Joe McCarthy said that’s the question his fledgling shop had to overcome last week to win the $18 million advertising account of Jiffy Lube.

The Boston-based agency, competing in its first competitive pitch, beat FCB, New York, in the final round. Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, and Tracy Locke Partnership, Dallas, had fallen in the semifinals. Incumbent The Richards Group, Dallas, did not participate.

“This is a big win. We were pretty excited to compete against some of the older, more established agencies,” McCarthy said.

“We were highly impressed with the commitment and passion they exhibited for the business and felt it matched our commitment for our customers,” said Anne Tawney, svp/marketing of Jiffy Lube, a Penzoil-Quaker State subsidiary based in Houston.

MMB presented “everything from TV concepts to point-of-purchase to uniforms for the [Jiffy Lube] technicians” in an all-out effort to win the account, McCarthy said. “The theme was ‘care.’ People at Jiffy Lube care for your car” and by extension, care for their customers, McCarthy said. “It’s more than just a place for a change of oil.”

Creative details—such as positioning and the overall tone of the campaign—will be worked out in the next few weeks, with radio spots slated to break this summer, with TV, print and outdoor to follow.

MMB, which has ramped up to 25 staffers after launching in April with about 10, is in talks with “three or four” media-buying shops. It looks to subcontract that portion of the business, McCarthy said. He stressed, however, that media has already been purchased for several months, so bringing a buying service aboard is not a top priority.

Creative directors Fred Bertino and Jamie Mambro, who will oversee the campaign, are the other partners of MMB. Prior to starting the new shop, Bertino and Mambro led the Boston outpost of Square One, Dallas.

McCarthy had been a brand consultant who oversaw Boston Beer’s flagship Samuel Adams account. McCarthy also served as global marketing director of Nike. McCarthy, Mambro and Bertino joined forces with their $15-20 million Sam Adams showcase account, as well as the $5-8 million business of tech company Tellium. Bertino is a past president of Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, a former employer of Mambro as well.