Strategic Thinking, Teamwork Land the Midas Account at FCB

CHICAGO-Having won the $25 million Midas International account over DDB Needham, Foote, Cone & Belding now has several months to put together a strategy and develop creative work for the auto service chain.
Ads and media placements from incumbent J. Walter Thompson Chicago will carry Midas through the rest of the year, a company representative said. FCB’s first campaign won’t debut until 1998.
JWT resigned the account in May, claiming that it was a conflict with its Ford business. The review began with six agencies and came down to Needham and FCB, which made final presentations last week.
Sources indicated Midas was concerned with Needham’s ability to concentrate on its business in the wake of the agency’s recent growth, including its acquisition of the bulk of McDonald’s national advertising. A Midas representative declined to comment.
No creative work was presented during the review process, a Midas representative said.
Instead, the company asked agencies for strategies and looked for one that clearly understood its business.
The final round of agency presentations included both DDB Needham and FCB providing preliminary creative strategies and creative concepts, rather than finished work.
FCB president Ron Bess said the agency presented case studies of its work for multiunit retailer Payless ShoeSource and for Blue Cross & Blue Shield Association, which works with independent affiliates across the country, during the credentials phase of the review.
The FCB team included Dana Anderson, who joined FCB in July as executive vice president of account planning. Anderson came from JWT, where she was global planning director on Kraft. “She made a huge contribution, developing and bringing to life our strategic presentation,” Bess said.
He also said Midas “has a lot of faith in [deputy executive creative director] Jonathan Harries.”
“We put together a good team that had retail experience and energy and focus, and we worked hard to know their business,” Bess said. “At the end of the day, this is really all about the people who work together on a piece of business.”
Rather than look for a single creative idea, Midas wanted the two shops to “demonstrate depth and and repeatable ideas that can build business, not just offer a single creative idea,” Bess said.
TN Media will handle Midas’ network TV buying. The company will continue to work with its 12 regional agencies on local market media planning and buying for its 1,896 domestic units.