Sprite Taps Wieden & Kennedy for Creative Duties

Agency Already Handles Sibling Brands Coke and Powerade

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Wieden & Kennedy's New York office is picking up creative duties for Sprite, Ad Age has learned.

Sprite had been working with Translation, a piece of business won in September 2013. Prior to that Leo Burnett handled creative, but Sprite has worked with a number of other agencies -- BBH and Johannes Leonardo, for instance -- over the years.

According to people familiar with the matter, the pitch, which was conducted without a consultant, came down to Wieden and Interpublic's R/GA. Both agencies declined to comment. A representative for Sprite also declined to comment.

For Wieden, the Sprite work is an addition to its Coca-Cola portfolio, as the brand handles Coke as well as Powerade. It's also the latest win in a stream of account activity for the indie agency. In late March, the same month it parted ways with Weight Watchers, Wieden & Kennedy's Portland, Ore., office made its way onto the General Mills roster by picking up creative for Yoplait. Wieden in February picked up the KFC account without a review, just a couple weeks after Verizon enlisted the shop for brand and strategy work.

Coca-Cola Co. had also been recently looking into a potential digital agency change for Sprite, according to people familiar with the matter. Meanwhile, sibling brand Coke in March reached out to 10 agencies, including Wieden & Kennedy, to pitch ideas for its next global campaign.

Translation last fall created a Sprite ad (above) starring LeBron James about the return to his hometown of Akron, Ohio, to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team on which he began his career.

Coca-Cola spends relatively little on Sprite compared to other brands like Diet Coke and Coke. In 2014, the company spent about $13.6 million on U.S. measured media, according to Kantar Media, though that is up from $7.1 million in 2013. According to Ad Age DataCenter's analysis of Kantar figures, Coke spent about $202.1 million in 2013 on U.S. measured media.

--Alexandra Bruell contributed to this story.

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