Kraft Gives A1 Account to Creature, Seattle

Steaksauce Brand's Shift Is Just Latest in Marketer's Aggressive Roster Moves

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Kraft Foods has added yet another agency to its roster, tapping Creature , Seattle for its A1 steaksauce brand in a shift that continues the food giant's aggressive account moves.

The assignment marks a return of sorts for Creature to the Kraft stable. The indie shop worked with Kraft on the Seattle's Best Coffee grocery account until recently, when the Starbuck's brand ended its distribution deal with Kraft. Creature continues to work on Seattle's Best. And although the Kraft-Starbucks pact ended bitterly, Kraft saw enough in Creature to make it want to continue the relationship.

"They have a strong strategic planning capability and they approach marketing communications with an eye toward designing experiences," Kraft spokeswoman Lynne Galia told Ad Age in an email.

Kraft pulled A1 from Interpublic Group of Cos.' DraftFCB late last year along with three other brands, including Jell-O, which was given to MDC Partners' CP&B; and Cool Whip, which landed at Interpublic's Martin Agency. The fourth former DraftFCB brand, Bulls-Eye, is not yet assigned to an agency of record.

"Right now we're more focused on supporting [Bulls-Eye] through retail and consumer promotions using specialist agencies on a project basis," Ms. Galia said.

Kraft spent $2.7 million in measured media on A1 in 2009 and pulled back all spending last year, according to Kantar Media. New creative for the brand is expected in 2012, Kraft said.

The shift marks the latest in a series of account moves for Kraft, which is aggressively shaking up its roster, seeking new ideas from a host of agencies big and small. Other new partners include WPP's Taxi, which recently won Mio, a new liquid-water enhancer. Martin followed up its Cool Whip win by snaring Polly-O, Breakstone's and Stove Top. And Droga 5 joined the Kraft roster late last year, winning the Athenos line of Mediterranean foods.

Kraft's next big move will likely involve Triscuit, which was recently put into review.

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