Martin Agency Picks Up Tic Tac Business

Had Been Handled by Omnicom's Merkley & Partners

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Ferrero USA has tapped Interpublic Group's Martin Agency as U.S. creative agency of record for its Tic Tac Mints brand after a six-month review. The agency will handle strategic and creative duties for Tic Tac, which spent about $13.6 million on measured media in 2013, according to Kantar Media.

The incumbent, Omnicom Group's Merkley & Partners, had handled Tic Tac since 2004. It remains Ferrero's agency of record for Nutella.

"We're proud of the work we've done for Tic Tac, bringing it back into a strong position and we value our relationship with Ferrero -- we wish them nothing but the best," said Rob Moorman, CMO at Merkley & Partners.

The brand is targeting a younger consumer, but executives didn't want to change the longstanding brand too much just to chase millennials. "What the Martin Agency has done is really find a refreshing new angle with an iconic brand without taking away from what made it iconic," said Todd Midura, category marketing director for Tic Tac Mints at Ferrero.

The goal with the Martin Agency is to be "flexible and dynamic," Mr. Midura said, adding that traditional efforts like 30-second TV commercials have become too big and too slow for Tic Tac, not to mention expensive for a brand with a modest media budget. "You can only do a few of those a year," he said.

Martin Agency CEO Matt Williams said the agency entered the pitch looking at the business from "a media-neutral standpoint," part of bringing Tic Tac into a new era will be increasing its interaction with consumers. "The brand can be really engaging in digital and social media," he said. "People can fall in love with it all over again and share it."

"We have a pretty robust social following out there," said Mr. Midura, "but the Martin Agency has shown us how, from a content perspective, we can do more with that and use different out-of-home tactics that could draw buzz beyond billboards."

New creative is slated to roll out in the first quarter of 2015.

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