Formula began working with Sambazon following an RFP issued at the start of the year. The agency will be implementing events, promotions, media relations, and social media tactics for the brand, which also produces smoothies, sorbets, and smoothie packs.
"Formula has an experienced consumer packaged goods position, and they have a lot of experience in the natural foods industry, as well," said Kaia Lai, communications manager of Sambazon. "Their plan was really impressive, and it met our needs and our budget."
Sambazon joins other Formula clients such as Kashi Cereal, Bear Naked Granola, Tribe Hummus, and Honest Tea. The agency's San Diego office is about 45 minutes away from Sambazon's San Clemente headquarters. A yearlong budget has been tagged at a low six figure range, added Lai.
Michael Olguin, president of Formula PR, said the team is also pitching an activation initiative, which could include street teams.
"The brand is doing some really clever stuff," he said. "They have a lot of product extensions. Our role is to help build buzz for the brand as a whole, as well as introduce their line extensions, which is really functionally driven health beverages. Each of the benefits has a fairly functional value proposition."
Last month, Formula PR spearheaded the opening of the first Sambazon Acai Cafe in Cardiff, CA. The event featured live music, free samples, and a capoeira performance. The cafe offers acai bowls, smoothies, desserts, and a kids menu. The space will also serve as a test kitchen for new products, added Olguin.
Three agencies, including Formula, were invited to the pitch, said Lai. She declined to name the other agencies involved. Sambazon previously worked with Boston-based Cone as its AOR for about a year up until December 2010, she added. Cone was not invited to the pitch in January.
"They really helped us with our communications strategy and sustainability messaging," she explained. "That was the main focus then, and our needs just changed."
Cone confirmed the former relationship and had no further comment.