Claremont Restaurants Return to Charlotte Shop

Sterrett Dymond Stewart Advertising has reclaimed the marketing business of The Claremont Restaurant Group.

The Charlotte, N.C., shop also won the North Carolina State Fair account in a review.

Officials for Claremont, which operates the Sagebrush Steakhouse, Prime Sirloin and Western Steer chains, returned the estimated $3 million account to SDS last week.

“We did their most successful campaign,” said Russ Dymond, agency director of creative services. “Our reward was getting fired.”

SDS partner Theckla Sterrett said the campaign generated a17 percent sales increase, but cited an ownership change at the Charlotte-based client as the reason for her agency’s dismissal. When the restaurants changed hands again earlier this month, SDS was reinstated.

Initial work for Sagebrush, which targets middle-income diners in the Southeast and Pennsylvania, touts the restaurant’s blue-plate specials. Print, radio and direct-mail efforts will be followed by a television campaign.

Separate campaigns for Prime Sirloin and Western Steer target low-income families.

According to Dymond, the agency took a chance by presenting spec creative to members of the state fair’s review committee.

“The risk was greater in terms of time than money, but we felt it was a good way to showcase what we could do,” he said. “When they awarded us the account, the creative was done.”

SDS bested North Carolina rivals The Signature Agency, Raleigh; Hodges Associates, Fayetteville; Adstreet, Cary; Bouvier Kelly, Greensboro; and incumbent Lewis Advertising, Rocky Mount.

A campaign for the state fair tagged “Blue-ribbon fun” broke last week. Print is appearing in the September issues of Southern Living, Carolina Parent Magazine, AAA Go Magazine and other periodicals. Television and radio spots will air through Oct. 27.