It Was Anything but a QuikTrip

Convenience Stop Did Not Rush to Judgment With Austin Kelley
ATLANTA–Austin Kelley has been named agency of record for QuikTrip gasoline and convenience store centers, an estimated $6 million account.
The Atlanta shop emerged the winner after a lengthy review, which began last March and was in limbo for nearly four months through late spring and early summer.
During that time, according to sources, the Tulsa, Okla., client contemplated abandoning the hunt to employ a variety of creative-only shops and a media agency.
There was no incumbent. QuikTrip is currently airing a trio of broadcast spots from Atlanta radio specialists Sixty Second Airborne, the latest in a series of agencies hired for project work.
Jim Denny, vice president of marketing at QuikTrip, would not comment on the review.
A source said the Atlanta agency related well to the client and demonstrated a strong understanding of QuikTrip’s business through a creative and media assignment.
“Our track record in marketing retail establishments–Pizza Hut, Honeybaked Ham, Churchs Chicken, Midas–in a number of markets is clear and good and that’s what they were looking for,” said Jay Shields, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Austin Kelley.
“The fit between our people and their people was good,” he said. “Our creative product . . . [and] the strength of our media had a lot to do with it.”
Shields also noted it “might be more than a coincidence” that QuikTrip has always emphasized radio advertising and his shop recently won the top ad award in the medium from Atlanta broadcasters.
The client will also continue its use of outdoor advertising.
The search was conducted by Houston consultant Barry Silverman, who was unavailable for comment at press time.
Sources said QuikTrip originally sent questionnaires to about 20 agencies in its core markets. Four other finalists were not disclosed, though a source said shops from Atlanta; Dallas; Tulsa; Wichita, Kan.; and Kansas City, Mo.; were considered.
QuikTrip has more than 325 locations in Georgia, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois. It plans to open stations next year in Texas, where it will compete with Dallas-based Southland’s 7-11 chain. –with J. Dee Hill