Cheers to 40 Years

Kelley & Associates Celebrates a Big Anniversary in Building Memphis Brands

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Most people have mixed feelings about the big 4-0, but at Kelley & Associates we’re celebrating all summer. As Memphis’ oldest woman-owned agency, our anniversary marks a milestone in our journey to imagine the impossible, push the limits and create something great for Memphis-based businesses.

Kelley & Associates was established in 1979, when radio ruled the airwaves. We quickly transitioned into TV, and went on to become Memphis’ leading media buying agency across broadcast, print and outdoor. We were one of two local agencies to first invest in Mac computers, which led us to venture into websites in 1995. And most recently, we became one of the first Memphis agencies to buy OTT advertising for TV content that is streamed over the internet.

Forty years of building Memphis brands hasn’t been easy, but it’s been a lot of fun. Let’s take a look at a few of our favorite moments over the past 40 years.

 

1983 - Captain Bilbo’s

Kelley & Associates picked up Captain Bilbo’s when downtown was in decline, and repositioned the restaurant as a destination for fine dining and great entertainment. We helped Bilbo’s become the largest volume restaurant in Tennessee, and expand its Cajun river restaurant concept to other markets like Denver, Nashville and Oklahoma City.

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1984 - Homebuilders Association of Memphis

We revived the Homebuilders Association of Memphis (now the West Tennessee Home Builders Association) with the Good Reasons Home Show — opening the door for the Vesta Home Show, which continues to be one of the Association’s biggest events 35 years later.

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1988 - Holliday’s Fashions

We took Holliday’s Fashions from a small manufacturer and distributor of women’s fashions to a major retailer. Within five years of our first TV spot airing, Holliday’s had closed their wholesale division and opened 32 new stores.

 

1990 - McAuley’s

We created a carpet powder package design for McAuley’s, with a three-part delivery to buyers that got the potpourri manufacturer into Walmart and other national chains. One of our most successful package designs was for McAuley’s signature Sachet of Scents.

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2002 - Boys & Girls Club of Greater Memphis

“Reflect on Their Future” was our multimedia ad blitz for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Memphis’ capital fundraising campaign — featuring major Memphis figures like the Mayor, a Congressman and a Grizzlies basketball star. The campaign earned Telly, Communicator and Service Industry Advertising Awards.

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2007 - City Auto

We transitioned wholesale shop City Auto to a retail dealer in a rebranding campaign that led City Auto to become one of the largest independent used car dealers in America. City Auto has been named the country’ s number one independent dealer four consecutive years by Auto Dealer Monthly Magazine.

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2016 - Memphis Police Department

We called on qualified candidates to become police officers with “Join the Best in Blue”, our recruiting campaign for the Memphis Police Department. Our campaign increased applications nearly tenfold, and filled the MPD’s first training class in years.

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2016 - MicroPort Orthopedics

We developed MicroPort Orthopedics’ patient education campaign featuring Terry Bradshaw, who underwent a total knee replacement with MicroPort’s EvolutionMP Knee System. Campaign creative appeared in brochures, videos, posters, print ads and social media that ran across the country.

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2018 - City of Germantown

We implemented the “Recycle the Right Way” awareness campaign to help Germantown residents recycle responsibly. We even hired “Feet on the Street” to lead a 10-week curbside education program, who tagged recycling carts with either “Superstar” or “Oops” reminders about what belongs inside.

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So cheers to 40 years! As we remember the moments that shaped our history, we look to the future to continue our legacy. And we are just getting started. Please visit our portfolio page to view our more recent work.