A Fast-Food Past Was Not Key For Checkers’ 9 Semifinalists

By Katy Eckmann

ATLANTA–Checkers Drive-In Restaurants selected nine shops as semifinalists in the review for the creative portion of its $8-10 million advertising account.

One Southwest shop, Levenson & Hill in Dallas, joins eight Southeast agencies in pursuit of the Clearwater, Fla.-based burger chain: Austin Kelley Advertising and Fricks/Firestone, both Atlanta; Crispin Porter & Bogusky and Tinsley Advertising, both Miami; WestWayne’s Tampa, Fla., office; The William Cook Agency, Jacksonville, Fla.; Long Haymes Carr, Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Price/McNabb, Charlotte, N.C.

Neither fast-food nor branding experience was necessarily a factor in choosing the nine contenders, according to Donald ‘Bo’ Young III, director of marketing at the client. Rather, the agencies demonstrated ‘the skills of communicating to customers,’ Young said.

Checkers Drive-In Restaurants has asked the shops to make oral presentations June 30-July 1 to a client committee of five, including three individuals from the company’s corporate offices and two franchisees. Next on the agenda are site visits to a narrowed field of three agencies. Final presentations, including speculative creative, will take place July 24-25, said Young.

In March, Checkers–which has 480 restaurants in 23 states, mainly in the Southeast–proposed to acquire Louisville, Ky.-based Rally’s Hamburgers, which operates in the Midwest. The merger fell through last week, however.

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