Yesterday we wrote that casual dining chain Golden Corral was down to three agencies in its search for a new creative lead. Since then, Adweek reported that the chain has made its decision, choosing Portland, Maine-based independent The VIA Agency over other finalists Merkley + Partners and Mullen Winston Salem. The pitch was run by Hassan and Partners and, according to Kantar Media, the brand spent approximately $55 million on media in 2013.
Prior to the review, Golden Corral had relied on freelancers and in-house production for its advertising, so The VIA Agency will act as its first lead creative agency. Adweek suggested the change in strategy could be due to the chain’s recent soft sales in the overall slumping casual dining category. The VIA Agency, who recently released a new campaign for Three Olives Vodka, has previously worked with restaurant chain Friendly’s, and currently counts Romano’s Macaroni Grill among its clients, which may have helped them land the account. Other prominent clients for the agency include Unilver, Klondike, Perdue and Welch’s.