Horizon Organic starts fresh with Golin as PR AOR

The Interpublic Group firm was selected earlier this month after the brand, owned by WhiteWave Foods, reached out to a few agencies.

Image via Horizon's Facebook page
Image via Horizon's Facebook page

BROOMFIELD, CO: Milk brand Horizon Organic has brought on Golin as its PR AOR.

The company selected Golin earlier this month, after the brand, owned by WhiteWave Foods, reached out to a few agencies.

Alicia Alfano, the firm’s executive director and consumer marketing group co-lead, is leading account work. Planning for 2017 will begin in the coming weeks, said Matthew Hargarten, director of communications at WhiteWave Foods.

Golin will work with ad agency Fallon to develop a holistic strategy for the brand for next year. Hargarten explained that Fallon is developing a campaign for Horizon and Golin will initiate PR activation throughout that plan. However, he stressed Golin will also have creative autonomy to think outside of that strategy.

"We have charged Golin with coming up with a PR plan to seize on cultural moments throughout the year to bring the Horizon brand into those relevant conversations," said Hargarten. "Media is a big part of that, but also social and content will be at play as well with bringing Horizon into that conversation. Always-on social monitoring and listening, and seeding of the product will also be a part of what they do."

Hargarten defined "cultural moments" as events or situations throughout the year where consumers are focused on a particular topic, such as the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards, or back-to-school.

"In the past, we focused more on product launches and product-specific benefits," he said. "Those will still be part of the plan in 2017, but we really want to start building the Horizon brand equity with parents as a resource for their kids. That is the main objective for Golin."

Golin’s work will include both the overall Horizon Organic brand and all of its products, which include milk, cheese, butter, pasta, crackers, eggs, and fruit snacks.  

"We will be amplifying their efforts around existing products and innovations they might have," said Gary Rudnick, Golin co-CEO. "They are known primarily in the dairy aisle, but we want them to communicate relevance beyond just that aisle with some of the other product lines and areas of their business that may emerge in the coming years."

Horizon’s current PR AOR, which Hargarten declined to identify, is in a transition phase until Golin officially takes over, later this year.

The milk brand decided it needed fresh thinking in the PR space, inspired by the new creative Fallon has brought to the company when it was brought on earlier this year.

"Golin brought really great, sophisticated insights to the table and strong creative that trickled through each of their ideas," said Hargarten. "They took a holistic approach, not just staying in the swim lanes that PR agencies typically stay in – including content, packaging, and in-store applications. They are really looking at this from a 360-degree view."

Golin has been the PR AOR for WhiteWave brand Silk since 2014, also assisting WhiteWave Foods with issues and crisis management.

Budget information was not disclosed.

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