Barkley busted out on the new business front in 2022, bringing on Red Lobster, LL Flooring and—in a surprise upset—regaining its largest client, Planet Fitness, which it lost to Publicis Groupe in 2021, after only a nine-month absence.
Barkley is on a new business tear
In all, the Kansas City, Missouri, independent boasted 21 brand wins and notched its fourth consecutive year of record-setting revenue. At a time when some agencies retrenched, Barkley doubled down on growth, acquiring food and beverage specialist Smiths Agency in September 2022.
Barkley has B Corp status and reports that 20% of its employees are people of color (14% at the director level and above), with a goal of reaching 25% by 2025.
Among its creative work, the agency continued the affordable lodging storyline for Motel 6 with a campaign featuring a legendary ski bum who has been staying at the budget-friendly chain for 50 years. That brought Motel 6 some bang for its buck: Barkley said that with a production budget of $80,000, it garnered 174 million impressions and more than 2,000 media placements.
The agency also put actress Kathy Najimy to work in a campaign for ARAG Legal Insurance as the “The Mistress of Misfortune” who assures clients who come in for fortune-telling readings that “Legal needs are in your future.”
And for Red Lobster, Barkley repositioned the chain as a “fun fancy” place to indulge in seafood without a stuffy ambiance, fueling same-store sales to a 9.6% year-over-year increase.