Krispy Kreme Taps VML as Global Digital Agency

Move Comes as Chain Invests Heavily in Digital

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Krispy Kreme has named digital agency WPP's VML as global digital agency.

The review, which began in January, was handled internally, and the company said it solicited requests from a dozen creative agencies.

Krispy Kreme, which did not have a digital agency before, has long spent negligible amounts on measured media. The chain, which has 253 locations in the U.S. and more than 800 total globally, has chosen to forgo traditional paid advertising and focus its marketing efforts on digital engagement and local relationship marketing.

Krispy Kreme has made digital, local and social marketing the brand's focus since Chief Marketing Officer Dwayne Chambers joined the company in 2010.

VML will assist Krispy Kreme in the strategic development and implementation of digital marketing globally, focusing on engaging more with Krispy Kreme's fans. VML will work in conjunction with Krispy Kreme's internal marketing and brand development teams, and design agency Shapiro Walker Design, which handles the chain's point-of-sale marketing.

Dwayne Chambers
Dwayne Chambers

"Krispy Kreme has been on an accelerated path in growing its digital presence over the last several years, making it a key driver in our marketing mix," said Dwayne Chambers, senior VP and chief marketing officer, Krispy Kreme. "VML was chosen for their obvious understanding and passion for our brand, their presence in the global markets in which our fans enjoy our products, and for their demonstrated ability to successfully execute unique and memorable campaigns on a global scale. They have proven themselves as innovators and thought leaders in helping notable brands create, execute and drive ROI through digital innovation. We are truly excited to partner with VML as we work to enhance our global presence through digital media."

"VML and Krispy Kreme both put a premium on strategic thought and creativity, and the need for full capability, but with a digital heart," said VML CEO Jon Cook.

Despite Krispy Kreme's decision to eschew traditional marketing, the chain has been experiencing a sustained sales increase, posting more than 20 quarters of consecutive same-store sales growth. Krispy Kreme in 2013 posted U.S. systemwide sales of $626 million, up an impressive 9.9%, according to Technomic.

VML in December branched beyond its digital focus and picked up the account for Napa Auto Parts, an account that includes digital, along with TV, radio, print and sponsorship. VML also handles digital marketing for Wendy's.

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