Buffalo Wild Wings picks new creative and media agencies ahead of 2019 rebrand

The wing chain has hired The Martin Agency and Mindshare

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Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings Credit: Inspire Brands

Buffalo Wild Wings picked The Martin Agency as its lead creative agency and is now working with Mindshare on media as it plans for a brand relaunch in 2019.

The agency changes come during what's been a busy year at Buffalo Wild Wings. In February, the wings and beer chain was sold to Arby's for $2.9 billion. In August, Seth Freeman joined Buffalo Wild Wings as CMO. That same month, the chain kicked off its "Escape to Football" campaign, as well as an updated logo. Lyle Tick joined as president in September.

Now, Buffalo Wild Wings is gearing up for what Freeman calls a relaunch, coming in 2019. Buffalo Wild Wings was eager to get some new agency partners to help with the effort. The chain met with a lot of creative agencies before picking The Martin Agency, says Freeman.

"They did the best job of really thinking holistically about how to move our business forward," Freeman says. Martin, he adds, "really did the best job at demonstrating how they could deliver a big idea that wasn't just about marketing."

Buffalo Wild Wings declined to name the final agencies in the creative review, which was led by Joanne Davis Consulting. Buffalo Wild Wings previously said Figliulo & Partners, which worked on "Escape to Football," and TBWA/Chiat/Day, whose work for the chain included this year's March Madness campaign, were both in the review.

On the media side, GroupM's Mindshare was brought in over the past month, taking over from Horizon Media.

The Martin Agency's first campaign for Buffalo Wild Wings is expected to debut late in the first quarter of 2019.

The 'Escape to Football' campaign, a bridge campaign until next year's overhaul, "is starting to pay off," says Freeman. "We anticipate as we move into next year that we'll be able to do even bigger things."

Earlier this month, Buffalo Wild Wings brought back a discontinued sauce flavor, Jammin' Jalapeño, in a limited run, a move that followed some fan requests, particularly on social media.

Buffalo Wild Wings spent nearly $57.9 million on measured media in the first eight months of 2018, after spending about $76.6 million in all of 2017, according to Kantar Media data.

Buffalo Wild Wings works with 22squared on social media and Zeno Group on PR.

Arby's, Buffalo Wild Wings and smaller chain R Taco are part of a company called Inspire Brands, which is majority-owned by private equity firm Roark Capital. Inspire Brands is also buying Sonic Corp. in a deal set to close in December.

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