Restaurant giant Inspire Brands picks Publicis Groupe as media agency of record
Inspire Brands, the owner of Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Dunkin’ and other restaurant chains, picked Publicis Groupe as its media agency of record, bringing more Inspire chains to the roster on which Publicis’ Zenith and Digitas already works.
Publicis created a new unit, Inspire Media Engine, to handle the account. Inspire Media Engine will be led by Zenith and Digitas.
Inspire Brands, formed in 2018, collectively has more than 22,000 U.S. restaurants across the Arby’s, Baskin-Robbins, Buffalo Wild Wings, Dunkin’, Jimmy John’s, Rusty Taco and Sonic Drive-In chains.
In all, external billings on the Inspire Brands family of chains total roughly $600 million, according to COMvergence data.
Publicis’ Zenith already handled media for Arby’s and Sonic, while Digitas worked on Dunkin’. In late 2018, Inspire awarded the Arby's media account to Zenith, which was already working with Sonic. At that time, Inspire Brands said there were no plans to consolidate all of its holdings under Zenith. Inspire Brands has grown further since then, most recently adding Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins when it bought Dunkin’ Brands Group for $11.3 billion in December.
The scope of the work awarded now includes supporting national media planning and buying for Arby’s, Baskin-Robbins, Buffalo Wild Wings, Dunkin’, Jimmy John’s, and Sonic Drive-In, along with local media planning and buying for Dunkin’, Jimmy John’s and Sonic.
“While each of our brands has its own distinct positioning and identity, Inspire’s shared services approach to media enables us to leverage our collective resources to benefit the entire portfolio,” Navin Sharma, Inspire Brands’ chief commercial services officer, said in a statement.
The scope doesn’t include national paid search or social for some brands, which are managed internally or through an outside agency partner that wasn’t impacted by the review.
The Inspire Media Engine team “brings deep expertise, key insights, and an innovative mindset to Inspire’s media planning and buying function,” added Brian Pruitt, VP of media strategy and planning at Inspire Brands.
Inspire Brands announced that it began its media agency review in August and that the review was led by Jones Lundin Beals + Partners.