Marcus Thomas Named AOR for Festival Foods

By Kyle O'Brien 

Independent agency Marcus Thomas has been named agency of record for Wisconsin retailer Festival Foods following a competitive review led by search consultancy Hasan + Shumaker.

Founded in 1946 as Skogen’s IGA, Festival Foods is a Wisconsin family- and employee-owned grocer. It previously worked with Shine United before handing creative and media duties to Marcus Thomas.

“Festival Foods’ store count and geographical footprint has grown quickly and we are not a one-size-fits-all brand,” said Leslie Atkinson, vp of marketing at Festival Foods in a statement. “Marcus Thomas’ marketing and media savviness, coupled with their data science prowess, were key reasons we selected the agency. And the culture fit could not be denied.”


Festival Foods looks to reach its customers in more personalized, one-to-one ways and Marcus Thomas aims to help the brand do that through data, media and creative.

“Having data and insights work in real time for them is a differentiator that is going to take Festival Foods to greater heights,” said CEO Nancy Hill in a statement. “Our media team played a heavy role in this pitch by identifying opportunities to take a personalized media approach using data that will increase the human metric for Festival Foods.”

Marcus Thomas has some category experience, having worked in CRM marketing for Kroger in the past. Atkinson said the company embraced the agency’s long-term vision for Festival Foods’ growth that includes helping to shore up in-house talent.

Marcus Thomas svp of business development Stephanie Sumner added that the two companies aligned around their shared values, including a desire to benefit associates, partners and communities alike.

Other contenders in the review were not revealed.

A new, integrated campaign for Festival Foods is set to break next spring.