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M/J Bags Messages for Whataburger

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DALLAS McGarrah/Jessee has developed a series of 15-second television ads and print pieces for Texas-based hamburger chain Whataburger built on an extensive brand-building plan launched in early 2004, the independent ad agency said.

One spot, titled "Drive Home," promotes the fast-food chain's proprietary ketchup served in plastic tubs, making it easier to dip French fries while sitting in your car, the agency said. The shop also created a tray liner in honor of the ketchup, "because the king of condiments deserves more than a squeeze packet."

All 15-second spots follow a trivia question-and-answer format, narrated by a grandfatherly type, now recognized as the voice of Whataburger. "Brace Yourself" guides viewers on the best way to eat a made-to-order Whataburger while "25 Hours" assures the audience that Whataburger never closes.

"We loved the idea of these short yet impactful spots [giving] star treatment to those qualities that set Whataburger apart," said Todd Coerver, client vice president of brand management.

Austin, Texas-based McGarrah/Jessee also created messages for Whataburger's paper bags such as, "Waiting for your burger is much better than your burger waiting for you."

"It would be easy to veer off into zany TV or Web-based promotional stunts, but when you're working with a home-grown institution such as Whataburger, you've got to let the quality and well-deserved reputation of the business guide the messaging," said Mark McGarrah, co-founder of McGarrah/Jessee. "In fact, it is their resistance to change when it comes to certain aspects of their business that is a key selling point."

The new TV spots are scheduled for staggered release through August and will repeat throughout the year, the agency said. Campaign spending details were not available.