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Next Media, Thinking Inc. Are The ˆ la Carte Choices of Grandy's

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Grandy's has hired a new team of agencies to head a streamlined marketing program debuting today in a campaign for the 149-unit restaurant chain.
Utilizing Dallas' Next Media for buying and project-oriented creative boutique Thinking Inc., the new campaign will play in Grandy's core markets of Dallas and Oklahoma City with a smaller budget of $4-5 million, according to client marketing director Kristine Russell. Previous budgets amounted to $6-7 million annually.
Also on Grandy's marketing team is the Dallas office of Houston-based Fogarty Klein & Partners for public relations support.
"We've gone away from the traditional approach of using just one full-service agency for all our needs," said Russell. "We're kind of using the approach that we can build a 'virtual agency' through several specialists in the field."
Grandy's account was also unbundled previously with larger, full-service Dallas shops Gleason Calise Associates and Larkin, Meeder & Schweidel. GCA and Grandy's parted ways in August 1996; media partner LM&S has handled creative projects since then.
Thinking Inc., headed by former Temerlin McClain vice president Tad DeWree, worked with Grandy's to create a new tagline, "We've got your taste," in television and radio spots that focus on three new combination menu platters.
"We're consciously trying to raise the perception level" of Grandy's value through the price-oriented commercials, DeWree said. Voiceovers from actress Annie Potts are featured in both media.
Next Media managing partners Michael Leonard and Mike Ritzman, along with associate media director Gina Roach, previously worked with Grandy's before they left LM&S to form their independent buying company. The full-service media agency heretofore has been growing through a relationship with Westport, Conn.-based Ryan Partnership, handling buying duties for Ryan clients Dannon and Minute Maid.