Just three months after we reported the launch of fledgling ad shop O’Keefe, Reinhard & Paul (OKR&P), news is breaking that it’s just scooped its first mammoth-sized piece of business: it’s to be taken on by WingStreet, a massively successful unit of YUM! brands specializing in chicken wings. This is the kind of deal to make the account manager and art director responsible for seeing the project through very happy people: WingStreet’s deep fried chicken wings have gone down a storm in the Pizza Hut chain so the audience is likely to be huge.
An account manager’s dream account
So huge, in fact, that Pizza Hut forecasts that WingStreet chicken wings will shortly morph into a dedicated stand-alone chain because of its popularity on the Pizza Hut menu. That’s likely to be one helluva big account for the account manager who presides over it.
The Virginia-based Martin Agency in Richmond previously held the WingStreet ad account, and it will continue to handle core advertising for Pizza Hut. But as any perspicuous art director or account manager can tell you, YUM!’s decision to bring new advertising talent into its chicken wings chain suggests that the fast-food leviathan foresees huge potential in an offering that has simply burgeoned in popularity since its launch in 2003.
OKRP’s connection with YUM! Brands is a strong one – Tom O’Keefe worked closely with the firm’s Taco Bell Mexican fast food chain during his two-decade at DraftFCB, so it’s not especially surprising to find that his shop has landed such a major account with the giant.
Back in April, the Chicago-based startup’s co-founder and President, Nick Paul, said:
“We started the business without clients, but we were fortunate. When we told people about the new agency, we had industry contacts, friends and people who we’d done business with before saying, ‘great! We have a project for you.’”
Prophetic words, it seems.
The Interpublic-backed agency is based in a voguishly renovated warehouse in Chicago’s West Loop, the erstwhile home of Hometown Pizza, in fact. Paul describes it as an “awesome space that we can grow into.” One big, airy space holds a large writer’s table capable of accommodating four-to-six people, while another houses the shop’s graphic designers.
And it does look set to grow, as Paul foresees.