Village Inn Taps Open Minds For New Creative

Village Inn, the Denver-based chain of about 200 family restaurants, has hired Open Minds, Irvine, Calif., to handle creative, media, strategic planning and research for the chain.

Village Inn is Open Minds' first restaurant account, although the creative team individually has had experience working on Green Burrito, Taco Bell, Arby's, Shoney's and other chains.

"We are excited to work with Open Minds," said Susan Hernandez, vice president of marketing for Vicorp, parent company for Village Inn as well as sister concept Bakers Square.

Previously, Village Inn used Catapult Marketing of Los Angeles for creative. The review that ended in Open Minds' hiring took about 60 days, Hernandez said.

She said the change is not related to any strategic move, such as a franchising push or repositioning of Village Inns. The chain now uses mostly spot television with the slogan "Good Food, Good Feelings," but Fernandez said "that is not 100 percent usage." She declined to reveal the chain's advertising and marketing budget.

New creative and media will launch in mid 2007. The agency will develop a complete campaign, comprising television, radio, print and in-store materials.

Powell Michael, vice president/creative director for Open Minds, will lead the creative team. Michael was once a junior art director on the Village Inn account at another agency.