AUSTIN, TX: Cold-brew coffee company High Brew has selected Havas Formula as its first PR AOR.
Havas Formula began working with High Brew in mid-February, following an RFP process that began earlier this year. Three firms pitched.
The agency is tasked with building awareness and exposure of High Brew, an all-natural, 100% Arabica blend of ready-to-drink cold-brew coffee. In addition to traditional media outreach, Havas Formula is positioning the brand as a thought leader in the beverage industry. High Brew handles social media internally.
"We are also aiding them with event sponsorships and a trade-show program," said Michael Olguin, president of Havas Formula.
High Brew’s primary target group is millennials, specifically college students who need a caffeine rush, as well as young professionals. Its secondary target is moms, Olguin explained.
Havas Formula is working on High Brew’s #ForThoseWhoDo campaign, focused on "people who want to get stuff done," said Olguin. The effort pre-dated the agency’s relationship with the brand.
"The biggest goal is to maintain discipline and not try to go for all things," said Olguin. "We want to connect to the millennial consumer where they reside, which is at music events. We are challenging the client to be focused on programs that are tied into music festivals through a combination of sponsorships and sampling."
At South by Southwest, High Brew sponsored and distributed its product at 20 events.
"We are also aiding them with an overarching media relations program that involves all aspects of product and new flavors," said Olguin.
The coffee’s flavors include Double Espresso, Mexican Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Dark Chocolate Mocha, Black & Bold, and Creamy Cappuccino + Protein.
"One challenge is making sure [consumers] understand the difference of a cold coffee," said Olguin. "There is a constant, ongoing evolution about conveying the difference between cold coffee and heated coffee."
Mia West, Havas Formula’s VP of publicity, is leading a team of four on the account, which will be shared by the agency’s Los Angeles and New York offices.
"What won us over was Havas Formula’s immediate understanding of who our target consumer is, how we are trying to reach them, and their authentic ability to do so," said Mari Johnson, EVP of marketing at High Brew, who joined the company one year ago.
"I felt now is the time [to bring on a PR AOR] because we have a message to share with the consumer and need help doing so, as well as help with day-to-day stuff," she added. "We are expecting a big year in 2017 and thought we needed the right partner to guide the way with us."
Budget information was not disclosed, though Olguin noted it is a six-figure account.
After High Brew was founded in 2014, it worked with a PR firm on a project basis. Johnson declined to name the PR firm, but noted that Havas Formula is the company’s first PR AOR. Konnect PR had been listed as the contact for media inquiries about High Brew dating back to 2014.
"High Brew is an amazing cold brew which will be very successful," said Konnect PR CEO Sabina Gault. "We handled the brand from inception till recently. PR changes are normal - I’m sure the new team will do an awesome job."