TracyLocke, The Darlin’ of Dallas, Turns 100

Longevity is the ad business is not common. Only six agencies in the U.S. have achieved 100 years of service thus far. The newest member of this elite club is Dallas-based TracyLocke.

The agency that has propelled visibility and sales for such iconic brands as Dr Pepper, Frito-Lay, PepsiCo and Pizza Hut will celebrate its legacy with a centennial celebration at The Dallas Museum of Art on September 27 – reuniting hundreds of employees and clients from the past and present.

Well ahead of the agency’s modern position (fueled by a methodology called “Buy Design,” TracyLocke has evolved into one of the world’s leading integrated marketing agencies), TracyLocke was a traditional shop.

Here are some of the highlights from the agency’s past:

  • Developed with the brand name “7-Eleven” in 1946 – designed, at the time, to highlight the store’s then-unique hours of operation.
  • Created the term “slacks,” to identify Haagar’s new approach to trousers and “slack time.”
  • Developed Borden’s Elsie the Cow, named one of the Top 10 icons of the 20th century by Advertising Age magazine.
  • Maintained multi-decade client relationships with FritoLay (58 years), Imperial Sugar (65), Mrs. Baird’s Bread (50+) Conoco Oil (34), and PepsiCo (25+).
  • Put Dr. Pepper on the map with the iconic Dr. Pepper Time campaign that highlighted 10:00, 2:00 and 4:00 as times when consumers would need an energy boost; making TracyLocke one of the first in the industry to utilize day part marketing.

Notable TracyLocke alums include Dallas Mayor and former CEO of Pizza Hut, Mike Rawling; David Novak, Chairman of the Board and CEO of YUM! Brands, Ron Askew, former CMO of Coors and founder of The Integer Group; Lincoln Steffens,Co-founder and Executive Director of The Marcus Graham Project; and Cindy Davis, EVP, Global Customer Insights & Analytics at Walmart.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.