Chipotle Setting Sail

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If you’re bummed by the news that Chipotle just named NY’s DeVito/Verdi its agency of record, so are we. Our cohort Jay Weise at Weise Communications, who spotted the announcement in BrandWeek yesterday, makes some good points in his note to us. And so we quote.

And the saga continues…. It’s the story in every market I’ve ever been in outside of NYC, Minn, Chicago, LA. The agency that starts out with the client when the client is just starting out, never gets to be brought along as the agency when the client gets older. It seems they always want someone bigger and that means out of town, whatever that town or city may be.

I also wonder if the total package, “advertising and creative assignments, including work on outdoor, print, radio, digital and non-traditional executions, as well as national media planning and buying” per the article is another reason Denver shops don’t make the cut – just pure inability to do national-level work in these areas? It’s usually the CMO’s ‘mindset’ that “bigger, away from my city will get a better product.”

You feeling the same way Jay is on this one?


I feel the same way to an extent. What’s not to say that they were simply looking for newer, fresher ideas and their old agency didn’t deliver? I really don’t know. What I will say is the idea that only big(ger) city agencies can provide the “total package” is an absolute fallacy. There are a lot of shops in town that specialize and couldn’t be a total package agency, that much is true. But there are also many that can be and, in some cases, are.

What it really comes down to is that, most times, the smaller city agencies just need the opportunity to prove themselves on the larger playing field and clients are unwilling to take chances. Bigger city agencies that have been there and done that represent the safe choice, and a safe choice won’t get a marketer fired. Cut through the bullsh*t and that’s what it probably comes down to with Chipotle.

I see this as the continuing trend of Promotion Through Incompetence And/Or Cowardice.

If its any consolation, Veto/Verdi recently did not get a contract they went for…ours.

It used to irk me when a client in our own playground splits, not so much today. Our community may not be as mature a market as say San Fran or Minneapolis, but the digital age has made it so we don’t have to linger in an era where we could only tap into Colorado-based business.

I’ll use North Face as an example. Could have stayed out west. They were with many California-based shops, but saw what Factory did and well, voila! Many Colo. agencies, big and small have non-Colorado agencies. We take from their cities, too.

Losing Chipotle to NY is a bummer, but it could come home. TDA worked with them after Mother did. That, and the fact so many national restaurant chains based here stayed with Colorado shops will show our community-wide breadth of experience. Stay tuned.

Here’s some thought. Does it, during a review, give a CMO leverage when reporting to a board saying “Well, I got this agency in Milwaukee, one in Boston, one in the Big Apple, a couple here.” vs. looking local only? Do you believe they like the idea of jetsetting to other cities enhancing the “glamor” side of our biz? Or is this underscoring them?

oh, and by the way, the previous post was not from Jay Weise.
Clears up confusion.

I wish clients would wise up and realize that we’re still 5 years out from being able to have a one-stop shop… IMO, their digital was never better than when it was at Xylem. As far as traditional production and media work, size is truly important because as a brand grows, so too does its need for hours. There aren’t that many agencies in Denver that can deliver in that industry and at that scale. Hopefully that changes soon…

“IMO, their digital was never better than when it was at Xylem.”

I agree 100%. DeVito/Verdi should give Him Creative a call for this new stuff. Get the whole thing back where it belongs. In the hands of JM.

By the way, Denver may lack a lot of full service agencies but there are a few in Boulder. And some aren’t bad.

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