Agency Brief: Some shark news as you're packing for Miami

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Jack Link's latest campaign work from Carmichael Lynch
Jack Link's latest campaign work from Carmichael Lynch Credit: Jack Link

I know you're all itching to hit the beach. And a lot of of you will be — Sunday kicks off the 4A's "Accelerate" conference in Miami. You'll find me there at opening cocktails sipping on the tears of my coworkers left in still-frozen New York.

But before you enjoy the 85-degree weather from the comfort of a darkened conference room, it's time to catch up on agency news. This week, we have updates from Jack Link's, SharkNinja (whoever named that… medal for you) and even a condiment communique, which we midwesterners take very seriously.

First order of business, though: Agency Brief is in new hands, at least for the time being. Meg Graham, who some of you know as Ad Age's media agency reporter, will be taking over the Brief reins. Tips, suggestions, or ways of sneaking out of conferences so winter-weary reporters can get a tan? Send to [email protected]

Sasquatch has a new home

Jack Link's picked GSD&M as its new creative and strategy agency of record, replacing Carmichael Lynch after a review the jerky company says included five agencies. "The decision was a difficult one," Jack Link's Protein Snacks CMO Tom (TD) Dixon said in a statement. "We evaluated several strong agencies, including Carmichael Lynch. We are incredibly grateful to them for more than a decade of partnership that produced some of our brand's most iconic creative work."

The Sasquatch spokes-character created by Carmichael Lynch will still be a key brand asset, Jack Link's said. "As we begin to reach different types of consumers in various channels, where and when Sasquatch appears may change, but he's not going anywhere."

According to GSD&M, the assignment includes a new brand strategy and creative campaign; some of the work should start appearing late in the second quarter to early in the third quarter. Carmichael Lynch said it was proud of the 13 years of work it did to help take Jack Link's from a regional company into a global brand.

Sharks and ninjas and juicers, oh my!

SharkNinja, whose Shark and Ninja brand names grace kitchen appliances and cleaning products, has chosen IPG Mediabrands' UM as its new U.S. media agency, UM said this week. The brand ran a competitive review that began in 2017. The SharkNinja company spent $56.8 million in measured media in the U.S. in 2017, according to Kantar Media. How's that for juicy?

Sun sets on Sunrise as Brandience arrives

The sun has set on Sunrise, and risen on "Brandience." Cincinnati's Sunrise Advertising has rebranded with the new moniker to represent the intersection of its four practice areas – brand, audience, science and experience, says CEO Brian McHale. The agency focuses on financial, travel and restaurants with largely local and regional accounts. Now it also has an agency name with an entry in the Urban Dictionary.

Blue Chip Marketing lands former P&G executive

Blue Chip Marketing, a Northbrook, Ill.-based shopper marketing agency, has landed a key former Procter & Gamble Co. executive, Joy Mead, who had been associate brand director for the company's $9 billion business with grocery retailers. At P&G, she also was involved with creating partnerships with the NFL, Major League Baseball, Disney and Universal among others, and was named to the Path to Purchase Institute's first "Women of Excellence" list last year.

Dentsu Aegis Network picks up M8

Dentsu Aegis Network has acquired Miami-based digital and performance marketing agency M8. The agency will join iProspect and will serve as a "launching pad" for U.S. clients into Latin America, as well as help serve multicultural and Hispanic markets in the U.S. M8 founder and CEO, John Santiago, will stay on and report to iProspect's Latin America president, Philippe Seignol. The M8 brand will live on as "M8, an iProspect company."

It mustard been a good match

Now for some breaking condiment news: Fitzco has been awarded creative for French's products. The maker of mustards, ketchups and crispy fried veggies has tapped the agency to work on strategic and creative work. French's, which was acquired by McCormick last year, will work with Fitzco to "reinvigorate the category by driving usage outside typical foods such as hotdogs and burgers," a statement said.

Kyu Collective brings on Kepler Group

And lastly this week, Kyu Collective (a strategic operating unit of Hakuhodo DY Holdings with member companies including Digital Kitchen, IDEO and Sid Lee) has acquired a majority stake in digital marketing services company Kepler Group. Kepler, which works with brands like American Express and J.Crew, brings along its "Kepler Intelligence Platform," a software platform that integrates and customizes target data for personal marketing across platforms and channels.

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Contributing: Jessica Wohl, Jack Neff

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