Post Date: 1/7/2014
Publication: The Austin Egotist
Iconic San Antonio-based hamburger chain Whataburger has awarded its media planning and buying duties to Austin’s McGarrah Jessee after a four-month search. McGarrah Jessee has handled creative duties for Whataburger since 2003.
McGarrah Jessee declined to comment on the size of the account, but sources estimate that the 750-location chain spends approximately $35 million per year in measured media. To handle the increased volume of business, McGarrah Jessee will be adding as many as a dozen positions, according to reporting in the Austin American-Statesman.
In addition to McGarrah Jessee, Whataburger considered a number of media specialists including shops from within the major agency holding companies as well as at least one global agency. Southwest Media Group in Dallas was the incumbent.
"Whataburger customers are better connected at home and on the go than ever before and we have an opportunity to evolve with them in the digital space," said John Lee, Marketing and Innovation Director for Whataburger. "McJ showed us a clear vision for that evolution, as well as developing innovative plans for our offline marketing.”
McGarrah Jessee and Whataburger will continue to create unique ways to engage Whataburger’s extremely loyal fan base, as well as develop innovative plans to reach new customers.
“We’re at our best when we are able to tie all the threads together to tell a client’s story and we're excited to add Whataburger to the remarkable list of brands who are leveraging this advantage,” said Brian Wheelis, director of Media Engagement at McGarrah Jessee.
Whataburger, founded in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1950, now has sales of over $1 billion annually from locations in ten states across the south, stretching from Arizona to Florida.
McGarrah Jessee was founded in 1996 by Mark McGarrah and Bryan Jessee, who had previously worked together at The Richards Group in Dallas and Austin’s GSD&M. In addition to Whataburger, McGarrah Jessee also handles work for Shiner Beers, Frost Bank and Costa Sunglasses.