When Churchs Chicken awarded its $12-15 million ad business to Austin Kelley Advertising here late last month, the hometown client became the largest national account in the agency's history.
A division of Atlanta-based AFC Enterprises, Churchs Chicken shifted its account to Austin Kelley Advertising (AKA) from Levenson & Hill in Dallas [Adweek, Jan. 5].
Churchs, with 1,350 restaurants in 28 states and eight countries, ranks among the top five U.S. chicken chains in sales. Although AKA has handled national assignments for other clients, Churchs represents the biggest national piece of business in the shop's 23-year run, confirmed AKA president and chief operating officer Geoffrey Nixon.
"Having a shot at doing some national branding for a quick-service restaurant will be a lot of fun," Nixon told Adweek.
The Georgia Lottery is AKA's largest client, and the agency's television and radio commercials for that client demonstrated the shop's "proven track record in humor," said Churchs official Sue Morgan. "Humor plays a huge role [in Churchs' marketing]."
AKA senior vice president and executive creative director Jim Spruell said the agency is working on several TV spots slated to air in March. That AKA must use Churchs "Gotta love it" tag provides "a great platform to jump off from," Spruell said.
Nixon said AKA will partner with The Atkins Agency of San Antonio for Churchs' Hispanic marketing and Visions USA in Atlanta for African- American efforts.