LOS ANGELES: Zevia, a diet soda brand that uses the natural sweetener Stevia, has tapped Extension PR as its first AOR after a review process.
Extension will work to raise consumer awareness for Zevia by reaching out to national and local print and broadcast media outlets, said Paddy Spence, CEO of the company. He added that the firm will also target bloggers who cover issues affecting moms, pregnant women, diabetes, and health.
Spence added that six shops participated in the review, but declined to name the other firms.
The soda company was founded in 2007, but Spence bought it 18 months ago with the goal of increasing its brand recognition. Prior to purchasing Zevia, Spence worked at other natural products and health foods companies, including Kashi, where he served as VP of sales and marketing for three years.
Spence said he focused on launching new products last year. However, he wants to concentrate on telling Zevia's story to consumers in 2012.
“Ninety-six percent of American households purchase soda, but it's a category that has gotten a really bad reputation for health, and it's a well-deserved one,” he said. “So what I think is really critical in the role Extension will play is that soda can be something you can have enjoyment from without the negative attributes.”
In addition to traditional media outreach, Extension will help Zevia with social media strategy development, Spence said. The company, which grew its Facebook fanbase from 3,000 fans at the beginning of 2011 to 16,000 by the start of this year, wants to continue its organic social media growth, he added.
Matt Paget, managing partner at Extension, said the firm will launch several activities for Zevia at the Natural Products Expo West trade show in Anaheim, CA, from March 8-11. He added that the company will also give samples of Zevia to attendees.