Sunny Delight Names Exopolis Digital Agency of Record

Move Signals Shift in Media for TV-Heavy Beverage Brand

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Sunny Delight Beverages Co. has named independent agency Exopolis as digital agency of record for flagship juice drink Sunny D after a pitch.

This shift to include digital advertising comes after years of heavy investment in TV for Sunny D, which is likely most remembered for a series of "purple stuff" commercials in the 1990s. It's also the latest for a brand that 's continuing its recovery after years of sales declines. Sunny D has also reduced its calorie count by 43% for its entire product portfolio; Sunny D Tangy Original has been reduced from 120 calories to 60 calories per serving.

"We have really focused on traditional marketing vehicles for some time: It's been TV extensively," said Dave Silver, brand manager for Sunny D. "At this point, it's time for the brand to get into digital. We've done it here and there, but signing Exopolis signals it will be a major effort moving forward." The pitch also included local agencies in Sunny D's hometown, Cincinnati.

Other agencies in the digital review included Curiosity360 and Ample.

Procter & Gamble sold the Sunny Delight brand to private equity firm J.W. Childs Associates in 2004, largely because of a prolonged sales slump. At the time, Publicis Groupe 's Saatchi & Saatchi handled advertising.

Today, Carrafiello Diehl & Associates is agency of record for Sunny D and other beverage brands under J.W. Childs' Sunny Delight Beverages umbrella. Publicis Groupe 's Mediavest handles media.

Exopolis, too, is on the road to recovery. After a period of declining revenue, the agency has been able to right the ship since last spring, when private equity firm Austin Ventures acquired the shop for an undisclosed sum. Exopolis has moved headquarters to Austin, Texas, and brought on local adman Matt Hovis as CEO and chief creative. Co-founders Kat Egan and Daniel Arcana are still with the agency,

Since then, Exopolis has been named agency of record for Formula 1 U.S., responsible for its racing facilities brand identity and website. It's also rebranded digital music service Rhapsody.

Sunny D spent more than $23 million in U.S. measured media in 2010, with only about $500,000 going to internet media, according to Kantar Media. Sunny D plans to increase investment in digital with this assignment, while continuing its commitment to TV, said Mr. Silver.

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