Advertising messages for fast-casual Chinese food chain Panda Express will now come from a place more meat-and-potatoes than beef-and-broccoli.
Omaha advertising firm Bailey Lauerman has been chosen as the Los Angeles chain's new agency of record for creative work, or primary partner for services such as branding and marketing. The restaurant chain retains separate agencies of record for media and digital work.
Bailey Lauerman CEO Andy Fletcher called it a big win, with Panda Express now among the firm's largest clients. He declined to discuss terms of the deal, saying Panda Express is a closely held private business.
Bailey Lauerman is shifting its approach to pitch for more long-term “agency of record” opportunities. Fletcher, who has been leading the firm since mid-2012, said he expects the firm's staffing level to grow by about 25 percent to about 100 employees by the end of 2014.
For the Panda Express account, Bailey Lauerman was among 10 candidates looked at by a search firm. The other two finalists both are based in San Francisco, and the previous agency of record was based in Los Angeles, Fletcher said, touting Nebraska-based talent.
He said Bailey Lauerman's work on the account will involve telling the “very American” story of Panda Express to new customers as the chain continues its rapid growth. Panda Express has more than 1,600 restaurants, including nine in Nebraska.