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Male Gen-Z Media Opps: Wingstop names permanent CMO amid spend increases
Update: earlier this year, as its permanent CMO. Clarke joined Wingstop in late 2018 a its marketing VP; it will be up to her to continue its ongoing momentum. During her tenure so far, Clarke has established Wingstop's first partnership with IMG, which has led to several college football partnerships, such as those with the Dallas Cowboys, LA Lakers, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors.
Per Technomic, Wingstop is the US's 45th largest restaurant chain; its recent Q3 earnings call marked that its US same-store sales rose 12.3% YOY. It has opened hundreds of brick-and-mortars throughout the past several years, and it could add as many as 142 locations in 2019 alone.
The company's latest sales have been strong, largely due to its new DoorDash-powered delivery service and a higher ad budget. Franchisees started contributing 4% of sales to Wingstop's national ad fund at the beginning of 2019, compared to the 3% they contributed before, according to AdAge. Wingstop will reportedly continue to promote its "Where Flavor Gets Its Wings" ads, and it will nationally advertise its delivery option in TV commercials in 2020.
Read the article below for recent ad spending information; keep in mind that Wingstop uses national TV, digital display, radio and OOH, largely targeting male Gen-Z. It also targets Hispanic audiences, with its overall spending usually rising in H2. It's also been pushing local marketing, so those local to its brick-and-mortars (view map here) will have the advantage.
Agency & martech readers - newly-hired CMOs often conduct agency reviews, but AdAge reports that Clarke has already completed this process for Wingstop and sounds happy with its current roster, referring to them as "our team." The company's roster has included Genesco.
Below was originally published on Nov 6:
According to iSpot, YTD national TV spend of $36.5 million, has targeted various male, sports-oriented audiences (see targeting right); much of this was allocated in and after September. This reflects a 71% increase from the $21.3 million spent in the same timeframe in 2018; full 2018 spend increased to $21.6 million from $18.7 million in 2017.
Within the past 12 months, Adbeat reports that Wingstop has spent $492,700 on digital display adverts placed primarily via YouTube videos on youtube.com ($346,400). While this is certainly a decline from the $2 million spent from Nov 2017-2018, spend had died down for most of this year, and it picked back up again in September. Ads are still being placed, so Wingstop seems to have returned to this channel; we should see continued spend here throughout the rest of the year.
The company also utilizes radio and OOH, per Winmo. Its target demographic largely consists of male Gen-Z, but also includes Hispanic consumers. Spend tends to spike during H2, so sellers should reach out early next year to secure ad revenue. Since Wingstop is focusing more on local marketing, as I mentioned earlier, those local to its restaurants (view map here) will have the upper hand.
Agency & martech readers - Wingstop has not yet selected a permanent CMO to replace incumbent Maurice Cooper, who stepped down in September (more below). This was also when interim CMO Christina Clarke stepped up. Thus, continue reaching out to be top-of-mind when the company selects one. Starcom has handled media buying and planning since 2016, nearing average agency tenure (3-4 years).