Saatchi Snags Kraft's Kool-Aid, Capri Sun

Marketer Cites Need for 'Fresh Perspective' on Beverage Brands

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Kraft is once again rejiggering its roster, handing Publicis Groupe 's Saatchi & Saatchi creative duties for Kool-Aid and Capri Sun. Those beverage brands were previously handled by WPP's Ogilvy.

Agency representatives either declined to comment or referred calls to Kraft Foods. Bridget A. MacConnell, Kraft 's senior manager-corporate affairs for beverages, told Ad Age that Saatchi's New York office will be responsible for handling the two accounts and said the impetus was a desire for new creative thinking.

"While we appreciate our long partnership with Ogilvy, we needed a fresh perspective as we drive our refreshment beverage brands forward," she said via email.

The pace with which Kraft continues to make changes to its agency roster is astounding. A Wall Street analyst recently found that between 2009 and 2010 Kraft had switched ad agency assignments on brands accounting for a whopping 48% of its total U.S. measured media spending.

The changes in the company's agency relationships are part and parcel of a much larger wave of organizational changes at Kraft , which is in the midst of splitting into two companies -- one focused on the North American grocery business, and another that concentrates on snacks. As a result of the split, Kraft has announced that it will slash up to 1,600 jobs. Meanwhile, the company is in the thick of ushering in a barrage of new products.

For Saatchi, the win expands its place on Kraft 's roster of agencies after winning creative duties last October for the world's largest gum brand, Trident.

It also provides a continuation of some good momentum to kick off 2012, helpful on the heels of its late December loss of the JC Penney account after a five-year relationship. In the past month alone, Saatchi has picked up these additional Kraft assignments, a new creative assignment for the Sapphire credit card by Chase, and has been called in to help out on Miller Lite with a new brand campaign.

Between January and November of 2011, Kraft , which is the 32nd biggest national advertiser per the Ad Age DataCenter, devoted between $35 million and $40 million in domestic measured media to Capri Sun, and about $20 million on Kool-Aid, Kantar data shows.

For Ogilvy it means a further reduction of its Kraft business. The agency once handled a broad array of brands for the packaged-goods giant, but over the past few years it has gradually seen many of its Kraft accounts flee to other agencies. It continues to have two big global pieces of Kraft business, Tang and Cadbury chocolate, and also does work for Honeymaid graham crackers.

Contributing: E.J. Schultz

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