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InnoVision Marketing Group Selected as Agency of Record For Beloved Tennessee-Based Restaurant, Buddy’s bar-b-q

by | Apr 12, 2024

SAN DIEGO – April 12, 2024InnoVision Marketing Group, a San Diego-based full-service advertising agency, has been named agency of record for Buddy’s bar-b-q, an East Tenn. bar-b-q favorite among tourists and locals alike. Through this new partnership, InnoVision Marketing Group will collaborate closely with Buddy’s bar-b-q to develop a comprehensive marketing and communications strategy to assist in a rebranding campaign and its planned expansion throughout the southern U.S. 

Buddy’s bar-b-q brand has been Knoxville’s go-to fast casual bar-b-q restaurant since 1972. They have a wide variety of bar-b-q menu options from slow-cooked pulled pork, chicken and beef to Smoky wings, Smoky dawgs, many delicious sides and regionally famous hush puppies and Hot Fudge Cake. With 19 locations in Tenn., Buddy’s bar-b-q is ready to enter new market segments in the surrounding states and showcase its incredibly successful franchise model. 

Buddy’s customer base is generational. It’s not uncommon to see four generations of one family dining at one table. The brand has been woven into the fabric of the East Tennessee dining scene by consistently offering a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere where guests can dine comfortably. With a focus on southern hospitality and quality ingredients, Buddy’s offers a menu suited for the most discerning bar-b-q palate, as all the meats are hickory smoked daily at every location. To honor and support their mission of being a restaurant that better serves the community, they provide fresh, fast and delicious bar-b-q at tremendous value.  

“We pride ourselves on being a third-generation family-owned restaurant that offers the comfort of dining in with the convenience of a drive-thru at all of our locations,” stated Mark Lemoncelli, Co-Owner & CEO of the Buddy’s Family of companies. “Our success for over fifty years has been based on having a tradition of fresh hickory smoked bar-b-q combined with fast, courteous and friendly service and offering generous portions of food at a reasonable price. We’re thrilled to join forces with InnoVision, confident that their distinct insights and deep expertise in the fast-casual dining sector will bolster Buddy’s bar-b-q, fortifying our brand and propelling us toward future expansion.” 

InnoVision Marketing Group offers everything under the marketing umbrella, with all services performed in-house and tailors the pricing and scope of each client partnership based on what stage of growth the company is in. InnoVision represents brands in multiple categories, including airports, automotive, fast-casual dining, food & beverage, healthcare, QSR, soft drinks, retail, tribal government, economic development and nonprofits. 

The San Diego-based agency will collaborate closely with the Buddy’s bar-b-q team to develop and execute a rebranding and comprehensive expansion strategy, including the oversight of all marketing services including branding, traditional advertising, digital media, public relations, social media and video production. Once the new brand and strategy are in place, the agency will launch a new creative campaign throughout the Knoxville-designated market area. 

“It’s such a tremendous honor to represent Buddy’s bar-b-q; they’re a heritage brand in Knoxville, and their roots are deep in the community,” said Ric Militi, CEO & Executive Creative Director at InnoVision Marketing Group. “They represent tradition, family values and quality. And when it comes to southern bar-b-q, they are as authentic as it gets. It’s amazing to see the nostalgic emotion they evoke in their guests, which is understandable when you consider the generational span they have endured, and the fact that in this age of high prices, they still offer a quality dining experience at an unbelievable value, all in the same place.” 

InnoVision’s portfolio and expertise in franchising marketing positions it as the ideal strategic partner to elevate Buddy’s bar-b-q’s objective and expand its reach. InnoVision Marketing Group has recently started providing the opportunity for global franchising to offer its clients the tools to succeed in the franchising and fast-casual industry. The agency currently represents three other fast-casual brands: Huey Magoo’s Chicken Tenders, Island Fin Poké Co. and Krak Boba. 

For more information on Buddy’s bar-b-q, please visit BuddysBarBQ.com/. To learn more about InnoVision Marketing Group, please click here or email PR@TeamInnoVision.com.  

About InnoVision Marketing Group 

What began as an idea of a way to better service clients has turned into a brand that stands out among the rest. InnoVision Marketing Group is a full-service, nationally recognized agency, with clients across the country and globally. Inspired by the intensity and style of New York agencies, we’ve taken innovation to the next level by integrating proprietary digital technologies into our services. 

From branding to creative design, media buying, digital advertising, web development and SEO, video production, social advertising and management, PR and digital content, entirely everything is done in-house, delivering unparalleled quality and value to our clients to make a lasting impact. Our goal is to ensure that our clients’ businesses thrive in every aspect of their branding and marketing. With our unique culture at the heart of everything we do, we believe the happier our team is, the better the work we produce – something we remember every day. To learn more about InnoVision, please visit TeamInnoVision.com.

About Buddy’s bar-b-q 

Serving guests since 1972, Buddy’s bar-b-q is a Tennessee favorite. The Buddy’s Family operates with their original philosophy of treating customers as if they were guests in their own home. In 1966, Buddy invested in his wife, LaMuriel’s, energy and talent by helping her become the owner of her first restaurant, the Pixie Drive Inn in Seymour, Tennessee. 

People would drive for hours for their country buffet, and business doubled in a year. LaMuriel and Buddy decided it was time to find their specialty, and bar-b-q from their former home-state of Alabama was what they were craving. They just couldn’t find bar-b-q in East Tennessee that suited their taste, so they created their own. Buddy soon quit the finance business and joined LaMuriel in her new-found bar-b-q ambitions. With the help of their guests, they perfected the taste that would define Buddy’s. Everything was a Buddy’s original, from the dry rub and bar-b-q sauce to the delicious sides and desserts. The first store with Buddy’s name opened in 1972 at 5806 Kingston Pike in West Knoxville and has remained open at that location for over fifty years. 

From those humble beginnings, Buddy’s bar-b-q became the go-to dining spot at the 1982 World’s Fair, and the addition of new locations was rapid as people began to know Buddy’s as a Tennessee bar-b-q tradition. In 1988, Buddy Smothers was recognized as Restaurateur of the Year and was elected President of the Tennessee Restaurant Association. Following Buddy’s death in 1992, his three children took over the restaurant operations and the business flourished winning numerous regional awards and gaining popularity which resulted in more new restaurants. Currently, Buddy’s next generation and their extended families are at the helm and are poised for further success and expansion while maintaining the qualities and values that the bar-b-q restaurant is known for. For more information, please visit https://buddysbarbq.com/.

Bulldog Reporter
Bulldog Reporter is a leader in media intelligence supplying news, analysis and high-level training content to public relations and corporate communications professionals with the mission of helping these practitioners achieve superior competitive performance.

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