The character of Juan Valdez, the legendary marketing icon played by real-life Colombian Carlos Sanchez, along with his mule has been on hiatus for more than a year. The character was originally created by DDB Worldwide in the 1960s.
PR account awarded
The revival of Juan Valdez
FutureBrand is being hired to put a value on the Juan Valdez brand, while Weber Shandwick is organizing a series of summer events featuring the character. Powell Tate will work on various imports issues facing the federation in Washington D.C. Separately, Weber Shandwick unit KRC Research is carrying out attitudinal research for the brand.
Red carpet treatment
A new advertising campaign isn't likely to debut until early next year but a print ad, created by Weber Shandwick's Sawyer Miller Advertising, has run in People magazine's recent "most beautiful people" issue featuring Juan Valdez in sunglasses and his mule walking a red carpet.
While the federation's initial request for proposal indicated this would be an advertising account, it appears the federation opted instead for a PR and promotions-heavy campaign. The account is worth around $9 million, though the final contract is still being negotiated.
Despite earlier press reports of plans for a Juan Valdez chain of coffee shops in the U.S., the federation had no firm plans on that front.