Durham-based McKinney has been named the lead advertising agency for CarMax, the nation’s No. 1 retailer of used cars and trucks.
Based in Richmond, Va., CarMax spends about $60 million a year on advertising, according to industry trade publication AdWeek. The retailer’s ad campaign included a spot that ran during the 2014 Super Bowl.
Winning the CarMax account comes on the heels of McKinney being tapped to handle global advertising for the Crocs footwear company in mid-November.
“What a great way to end the year,” John Newall, president of McKinney, said in a statement. He added that CarMax is such a great place to buy a used car that two McKinney employees ended up buying vehicles while they were “working to better understand the brand.”
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CarMax appointed a new chief marketing officer in August, a move that frequently triggers switching ad agencies. The new CMO, Jim Lyski, was CMO at The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company from 2011 to 2014 and prior to that was chief marketing officer at Nationwide – a long-time McKinney client.
“During this exciting period of growth, CarMax looks forward to working with McKinney to tell our unique story and connect the brand with consumers,” Lyski said in a statement released by CarMax.
McKinney replaced Silver + Partners, a New York agency, as CarMax’s agency, AdWeek reported.
McKinney is by far the Triangle’s largest agency, with 160 employees in Durham and 30 in New York. Among its other clients: Sherwin-Williams, Travelocity, Samsung, Mentos, ESPN, Mizuno USA, Gold’s Gym, CenturyLink and Sennheiser.
CarMax operates 143 retail outlets nationwide, including two in Raleigh – the second of which just opened last month. The publicly traded company retailed 526,929 used vehicles in the fiscal year that ended in February and wholesaled another 342,576 vehicles via auctions.
CarMax’s sales rose 10.9 percent to $3.6 billion for the quarter that ended Aug. 31.