Welch's has brought on Genuine to handle digital, social and mobile creative, media buying and strategy as the company looks to engage consumers more on non-traditional platforms.
Genuine, which was acquired by Interpublic Group brand experience agency Jack Morton Worldwide in 2014, began working with Welch's on a project basis a few months ago. After the company saw the work, such as "The Mighty Concord" digital and social campaign in September, it decided to invest in the relationship and make it more permanent, said Karen Mitchell, general manager at Welch's.
The company in recent years "took a break from social, digital and mobile and didn't make it a priority," Ms. Mitchell said. But there's "an attention revolution right now where folks are shifting away from traditional media, like television, radio and print, and paying more attention to what's happening on their phones and computers," she said.
Welch's wants to share more stories and become more relevant with consumers on the platforms where they're spending the most time, Ms. Mitchell added. While she declined to disclose exact numbers, she said digital and social represents a significant multimillion dollar investment and will now make up 20% of the company's overall media spend, up from almost nothing. "Now we're leaning into it and we're talking about being digitally forward," she said.
The company will continue working with longtime partner The Via Agency on traditional creative. Prior to bringing on Genuine, The Via Agency helped with some digital and social work, said Ms. Mitchell, as did a few small partners on a project basis.
In addition to digital and social creative and media, Genuine will work with Welch's on innovations, specifically testing and learning on social and mobile to help Welch's gather insights around new products and messaging.
Genuine has already been working with the company around "The Mighty Concord" and promotions for its new Graham Slams snack product. The agency will next focus on a holiday push around Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice. Media spending will kick in after Thanksgiving, said Ms. Mitchell, backing the message that the non-alocholic beverage means hosts and hostesses can provide everyone with a drink to celebrate with at parties. Outside of the holidays, Genuine will remind consumers that the sparkling drink is an alcohol-free alternative for all occasions, including baby and bridal showers.
Led out of Boston, Genuine has a dozen dedicated staffers on the account, said Chris Pape, founder and executive creative director of the agency. He said the shop plans on engaging consumers on digital channels with stories about Welch's heritage, as well as its products and ingredients.
On the media side, Genuine plans on hyper-targeting on social media platforms such as Facebook, because "you can reach people with the right message whenever they're celebrating, almost to the moment," Mr. Pape said.