To paraphrase the Hair Club’s Sy Sperling, barrettSF is not only the new lead agency for Rubio’s restaurant, it’s also a customer.
Staffers at the startup shop regularly grab lunch at a Rubio’s in San Francisco. Call it the ultimate in market research. The agency parlayed that experience and some creative concepts into the new relationship.
In making the hire, Rubio's vp of marketing Karin Silk cited barrettSF's "clear sense of who we are as a company and a vision for where we need to head creatively."
The regional chain is known for its fish tacos and has nearly 200 locations in California, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Nevada. As a brand, Rubio’s stands for using sustainably farmed fish and ocean protection.
Historically, the chain’s media spending has been modest. Last year, for example, spending totaled less than $1 million, according to Nielsen. Still, barrettSF founder Jamie Barrett welcomes the challenge of doing more with less. The assignment came after a pitch.
“There’s a lot to love about Rubio’s,” Barrett said. “We’re both committed to doing something meaningful and different in the category.”
Barrett, a former partner and executive creative director at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, launched his agency with Patrick Kelly last year. Other accounts include the Pac-12 Networks and the California Redwood Association.