The Keg picks Rethink as creative partner

The steakhouse chain makes its first agency change in more than 20 years.

Rethink has been named the creative and strategic agency partner for The Keg.

The assignment is national in scope, although it will be led by Rethink’s Toronto office. New work is expected to go to market later this year.

Ryan Bullock, VP of marketing for The Keg, said in a release that it was a mix of Rethink’s creative and strategic talent, along with the culture, that made him excited to work with the agency. The culture fit between the new partners was something echoed by Aaron Starkman, creative partner at Rethink.

“We both put people first, and we work with brands we believe in and love, and The Keg is definitely one of those,” he told strategy.

The agency was selected following a search conducted last month led by Nightcall, a Toronto-based search consultancy.

The new agency selection ends a relationship of over 20 years with KBS Canada, now known as Forsman & Bodenfors Canada. Much of that agency’s recent work with the restaurant chain – appearing under taglines like “See You Tonight” and “Why Not Tonight?” – put a focus on hospitality, as well as promoting the restaurant as a place for any meal occasion spent enjoying time with friends and family, not just for celebrations.

Starkman says a major differentiator for The Keg – and a potential opportunity to take advantage of in marketing – is the focus it puts on its customers.

“A lot of restaurants want you to celebrate them, take pictures and post them to Instagram and things like that,” he says. “But The Keg wants to celebrate you. You can tell when you’re there that the people are there for you, wanting you to have a good time. There’s something to be said for consistency and always delivering, and it’s not an accident that there are Kegs in each city across Canada that are ranked very high on things like Trip Advisor. It’s a great brand that offers a great experience, great food and great service, and we have a chance to show all Canadians why so many other people love The Keg so much.”

Last year, The Keg was acquired by Cara Operations (which changed its name to Recipe Unlimited last summer).