CHICAGO-Ashland Oil's Valvoline Instant Oil Change division assigned its $6-7 million account to Doe-Anderson Advertising in Louisville, Ky., after an informal review of more than a dozen agencies.
Doe-Anderson, which handles corporate advertising for Lexington, Ky.-based Ashland, succeeds Meridian Communications in Lexington on the Valvoline Instant Oil Change business.
Craig Grenko, Valvoline Instant Oil Change director of marketing, launched the search earlier this year [Adweek, May 12], saying at that time the intent was simply to see "what's out there."
In Doe-Anderson, he said, he found an agency best suited to handle the 493-unit auto service chain.
"We're very comfortable with Doe-Anderson's integrated approach to marketing, and comfortable with the chemistry I think is there between us already," Grenko said.
"We felt we needed a different approach to brand strategy, and we were impressed with Doe-Anderson's creative approach to managing the business," the director of marketing said.
Grenko said he met with about 18 agencies, primarily in the Midwest, as well as Bozell in New York, the agency for Ashland's Valvoline motor oil brand.
Rather than make creative presentations, agencies considered provided case studies of strategic work for existing clients, he said.
Meridian recently was selected to handle advertising for the SuperAmerica gasoline and convenience store chain, another unit of Ashland. That had no impact, however, on the decision to move the Valvoline Instant Oil Change business elsewhere, Grenko said.
Dave Wilkins, Doe-Anderson president, said the Valvoline Instant Oil Change win validates "the hard work we've been doing to build the agency's integrated approach to advertising."
The account includes promotions, direct marketing, design and public relations, as well as advertising.
Valvoline Instant Oil Change is the agency's first retail automotive client. Wilkins said he hopes it can help "open doors to the growing automotive after-market category and give us the opportunity to make some waves [creatively]."
Doe-Anderson began the year with about $50 million in billings. Wilkins said he expects the 90-person shop now will need to add four to six additional employees.