Sonic Orders Up Finalists For Its $12-Mil. Account

OKLAHOMA CITY – Sonic Industries has culled four to five finalists from the list of 11 sent questionnaires in the review for its $12-million-plus corporate and franchise account.
Pattye Moore, advertising vp at the Oklahoma City-based chain of drive-in restaurants, wouldn’t identify the finalists because some had direct conflicts but said they are located in the Southwest and West. Moore said Sonic wants an agency with franchise and field-service expertise and strong creative and spot buying capabilities. Sources said the company is most interested in $50-million-plus agencies.
Moore said a review committee of four from the Sonic marketing department and seven from the franchisee advisory council will hear presentations Oct. 25-26.
‘The agencies will get a marketing and spec creative assignment to demonstrate their marketing thinking to us,’ Moore said. A decision is expected immediately after presentations.
Sonic, prevously at Tulsa’s Ad Inc, has grown rapidly in recent years on the strength of that agency’s ‘No place hops like Sonic’ creative with ’60s beach idol Frankie Avalon as pitchman. It now has 1,200 stores, 138 of them company-owned, in 25 states in the Southwest and Southeast.
Avalon may stay on as pitchman, Moore said. Contenders will be asked to decide how Avalon may fit into future plans.
Moore said the agency change doesn’t mean the end of Avalon, whose contract extends through 1994. Moore said she will ask contenders to take a look at existing creative and decide how Avalon will fit into the new plans.
Ad Inc is handling creative and media planning for the first quarter. The winning agency will take over Nov. 1 and handle buying for the first quarter but will not break new creative until April, Moore said.
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