Industry News | November 2, 2000

Martin/Williams Named Agency for Donatos Pizza

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Donatos Pizza, the Columbus, Ohio based chain, has named Martin/Williams Advertising its agency of record. The announcement comes after a comprehensive 3-month agency search led by consultant Rojek Marketing Group.

"A strong brand positioning is key to the future growth and success of Donatos,'' said Tom Krouse, senior VP of marketing, . "Martin/Williams offered us outstanding strategic insights as well as the creative ability to maximize our brand potential.''

The $15 million account assignment includes a complete brand communications program including TV, radio, print, sales promotion, in-store merchandising and media planning and buying. "There is a significant opportunity for Martin/Williams to create a national brand for Donatos,'' said Steve Collins, President of Martin/Williams. "Donatos has the chance to redefine the entire pizza category because of its unique approach to the business.''

One of Martin/Williams' strong selling points was the pervasiveness of how the new brand positioning could impact all points of customer contact. "Our approach to brand positioning can capture what Donatos is all about as a company in a way that is relevant to the customer,'' said Collins. "We showed how to get the ideas to market and how to differentiate Donatos in a very competitive category.''

Since being acquired by McDonald's Corporation in July of 1999, Donatos has put in place a growth plan to expand from their current base of 151 restaurants in six states. This year the company will grow by approximately 15 restaurants with a continued acceleration of restaurant openings scheduled for 2001.

Donatos has a strong management team with executives experienced in building brands aggressively. Jim Grote founded Donatos in 1963 and built it into the regional powerhouse that it is today. President and CEO Bill Rose's background includes more than 28 years of management experience with McDonald's, most recently as Senior VP and Relationship Partner for McDonald's Asia-Pacific Operations. Senior VP of Marketing, Tom Krouse, brings more than 20 years of restaurant marketing experience to Donatos including positions at both Bates Worldwide and Wendy's International, Inc.

Martin/Williams Advertising is part of Martin/Williams Inc., a $310 million Minneapolis-based full service communications agency. Other operating units of Martin/Williams Inc. include Creo International, international and cross-cultural communications; FAME, retail image management; and Karwoski & Courage, public relations.