R/GA Wins McCormick Spices Digital Business

Agency Will Focus on Retail Initiatives for McCormick, Lawry's and Old Bay Brands

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- McCormick & Co. has selected R/GA as its U.S. digital agency of record for spice brands McCormick, Lawry's and Old Bay after a pitch. McCormick had worked with independent digital agency Studiocom, Atlanta, since 2007.

"We are increasing our focus and resources on digital communications and wanted to align with a strategic partner that could help us elevate our digital presence and deepen our engagement with our consumers," said a spokeswoman for McCormick, a century-old brand. "Clearly, mobile and social will be a key focus."

R/GA will also be responsible for retail initiatives and for helping the spice-market leader enter into consumers' meal- and grocery-planning processes. A seasonal campaign is expected during the second quarter.

McCormick spent more than $70 million in U.S. measured media last year, with less than $1 million dedicated to U.S. internet spending, according to Kantar Media.

Why does mobile make sense for a spice brand? Because mobile is shaping up as the newest tool in shopper marketing. New apps such as Checkpoints serve coupons and incentives to consumers to pick up packaged goods and scan their barcodes during check in at grocery stores. Other text-message services like Placecast serve coupons and deals when consumers enter a certain geographic radius around a store. Packaged-food marketer Kraft has also been an early adopter of mobile, including the iFood assistant recipes iPhone app and, more recently, the health education-focused Big Fork Little Fork iPad app that also serves as a kitchen companion.

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