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Buffalo Wild Wings’ new CMO Tristan Meline is moving the brand from creative partner The Martin Agency to Anomaly, which is no stranger to the Inspire Brands portfolio.
The win strengthens Anomaly’s relationship with Inspire Brands, as the shop currently serves as agency of record for Jimmy John’s and previously held the Dunkin’ account. (Leo Burnett won the business away from Anomaly earlier this year.)
The brand’s external communications firm MSL confirmed the win to Adweek, but Buffalo Wild Wings declined to provide further comment. Anomaly also declined to comment on the win. The Stagwell shop, which was Adweek’s 2022 U.S. Agency of the Year, won the competitive pitch that Buffalo Wild Wings ran in-house.
Meline took over the role of CMO in January of this year, previously serving as BWW’s vp of brand management and innovation. He replaced Rita Patel, who took the CMO role in 2020 after Seth Freeman departed the company. Inspire Brands moved Patel to a CMO role at Arby’s, where she now serves as the brand president.
Following all those changes, The Martin Agency shared a statement with Adweek about the relationship that began in 2018:
“We’ve done a lot together in five years. We’re most proud of The Overtime NIL Deal that helped B-dubs become the most talked about brand of March Madness, and our partnership with Sauce Gardner that led to the biggest Super Bowl Sunday in brand history. Frankly, with three CMOs in five years, we’re surprised we lasted this long. We wish them and their new agency well, but for now, we’re going to go sit on the Jewel Stool and ice this one off.”
According to COMvergence, Buffalo Wild Wings spent $90 million on measured media, with $63 million of that on traditional media.
Campaigns that worked overtime
The Martin Agency’s first work for the brand capitalized on the insight that March Madness is a popular time for men to schedule vasectomies. The agency created the Jewel Stool, a barstool with a cooling apparatus that allows basketball fans who got a vasectomy to get some relief.
In 2021, the brand celebrated the return of March Madness after the 2020 tournament was wiped out by the pandemic by celebrating every time a tournament game went to overtime. More basketball meant more chances to order food, and so Buffalo Wild Wings offered up a half-dozen wings every time March Madness gave viewers an extra five minutes of hoops.
With the new NIL rules put in place last year, Buffalo Wild Wings and The Martin Agency took its Overtime promotion to the next level, offering up an endorsement deal to any athlete in the men’s or women’s tournament who sent a game to overtime.
After Saint Peter’s went on a Cinderella run in 2022, the brand signed breakout star Doug Edert to its Overtime deal. The campaign gave Buffalo Wild Wings the flexibility to quickly sign the most talked about athletes of the tournament.