Jackson Hewitt Finds a New Lead Agency

22squared succeeds Zimmerman Advertising

Experience with financial services was naturally a factor in Jackson Hewitt's decision to hire 22squared as its new lead agency for its creative and media business. Just as important, however, was the shop's ability to cultivate brand fans on Facebook.

Just 17,000 people "like" Jackson Hewitt's two pages on Facebook. So, the tax preparation service covets what 22squared helped achieve for Buffalo Wild Wings and Baskin-Robbins: 91-fold and 7-fold increases in likes, to 4.9 million and 3.1 million, respectively.

Other finalists in the competition for Jackson Hewitt's business were The Richards Group and GSD&M. Media spending on the brand exceeded $17 million last year, down from about $25 million in 2009, according to Nielsen. Those figures don't include online spending.

Beyond traditional advertising, 22squared will create online ads with an eye toward raising Jackson Hewitt's social media profile. The first work from the shop, which has offices in Atlanta and Tampa, Fla., is expected in January.

"We chose 22squared over some of their larger, more nationally recognized competitors due in large part to their creative talent and their expertise in the growing areas of digital and social media," said Debra Dowd, chief marketing officer at Jackson Hewitt, which is based in Parsippany, N.J.

Dowd joined the company in 2009 from Revlon, where she was vp of marketing on the Almay brand of cosmetics.

The new lead agency succeeds Zimmerman Advertising, which did not participate in the review.