Jack in the Box Extends Apollo Mission

LOS ANGELES Apollo Interactive has successfully defended its online business with the Jack in the Box restaurant chain following a review with undisclosed contenders, the agency said today.

The Los Angeles independent has been handling Jack in the Box business since 1997, when it was hired to redesign the client’s corporate Web site. The agency’s duties increased over time, said David Bohline, chief operating officer, and included the successful viral campaign for the Meaty Cheesy Boys fake boy band.

“We’re getting a much larger seat at the table when it comes to overall marketing strategy, with online becoming a full partner,” Bohline said. “We’re very excited about it.”

Bohline said that he hoped the agency would work with independent Secret Weapon, Santa Monica, Calif., Jack in the Box’s lead creative shop, on various projects involving the Jack character. Dick Sittig, Secret Weapon’s CCO, directs all the broadcast spots and voices the Jack character.

One of the first projects will involve developing an e-mail loyalty program. “2008 is all about unleashing the power of Jack-brand evangelists, which Jack in the Box really has,” Bohline said. “We’re hoping to have some great content that will be available first to them, and hope to get their participation and feedback.”

Apollo’s new Web communications, which are expected to launch in May or June, will be split into two sites, “a corporate presence and a pure brand presence,” Bohline said. “People use the Web for different purposes and we want to communicate with them in a different way. We want the brand site to feature a lot of rich media and quirky humor.”

San Diego-based Jack in the Box spent $120 million in overall marketing in 2006 and $80 million through October 2007, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Interactive spending was undisclosed.