The Hass Avocado Board has brought on Hispanic shop Grupo Gallegos as its lead digital and social media agency for the U.S., following a competitive review.
Ten agencies competed in the review, which was led by Select Resources International, and three made it to the final round, said Gina Widjaja, director of marketing and communications at the Hass Avocado Board. She said Grupo stood out from the other agencies because of its creativity, impressive talent, bilingual capabilities and focus on both general market and Hispanic consumers.
Prior to Grupo, BusinessOnline handled digital and social media for the board. Representatives from the firm were not immediately available for comment.
John Gallegos, CEO of Grupo Gallegos, said the independent shop, which was No. 8 on Ad Age's 50 Largest U.S. Hispanic Agencies ranking in 2015, has been garnering more general market work from clients. "Clients ultimately want growth and they need to understand both Hispanic and non-Hispanic consumers, so it's no longer an either-or," he said. "Our main delivery for clients and why we're winning business from clients like Hass has to do with our approach, which is to be creativity-driven and culturally attuned."
Other Hispanic shops have been doing general-market work as well. Austin-based LatinWorks handles the entire Texas Lottery account, while Miami-based Alma is the total market agency for Tobacco Free Florida and for Harken (a division of United Healthcare). And in addition to being Clorox Co.'s U.S. Hispanic agency, Alma also leads several initiatives for Clorox that include general market work for those brands.
"The biggest [total market] one for us is Beam Suntory, where we are the total market agency for Sauza tequila," said Luis Montero, president of Miami-based The Community, which describes itself as a creative agency marketing to a multicultural world. "In addition, last year we developed a total market campaign for Corona boxing (which is already out in market) and Modelo masterbrand, which launches this coming fall … Anyway, we are seeing this trend more and more these days (i.e. clients looking to stretch our cultural sensibility into a total market solution)."
For Hass, Grupo will lead all digital and social media efforts, such as community management, SEO and SEM, website support and content development for consumers and food, health and nutrition professionals. The agency is also working on the board's Love One Today program, which began in 2013 and aims to educate Americans on the health benefits of avocados and encourage them to incorporate them into daily eating plans.
One of Grupo's main objectives is to continue to increase the demand and consumption of avocados by maximizing conversations right after key consumption moments, said Mr. Gallegos.
Ms. Widjaja said the Hass Avocado Board has published five studies already and has 13 more planned in the next four years, so "we hope Grupo will help us communicate the results of the research and communicate avocado health benefits to our target consumers." The primary demographic for the group is health professionals, but some of the content is also geared toward general consumers.
While the contract on the account is for one year to start, Ms. Widjaja said the board is hoping to maintain a long-lasting relationship with Grupo. Budget information was not disclosed.
The Hass Avocado Board works with a number of other agency partners, including FoodMinds for nutrition research communications, PadillaCRT for general market PR, MSLGroup for Hispanic market PR and Sterling-Rice Group for traditional advertising and media buying.
Contributing: Laurel Wentz