Ocean Spray picks JonesWorks as PR, marketing AOR

The company and agency formalized a relationship last month that began on a project basis in February.

MIDDLEBOROUGH, MA: Ocean Spray has selected JonesWorks as its PR and marketing AOR.

Ocean Spray, an agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry farmers in the U.S., Canada and Chile, started working with JonesWorks on a project basis in February, then formalized the relationship in August. Ocean Spray products include cranberry sauce, fruit juices, fruit snacks and dried cranberries.

"We conducted a competitive internal analysis of agencies," said Chris Ferzli, Ocean Spray’s head of global corporate affairs and comms.

Ferzli, who joined Ocean Spray in January, worked with JonesWorks during her time as strategy director and legal counsel for Michelle Obama’s Partnership for a Healthier America.

"We worked closely with some key celebrities that JonesWorks represented," she said. "And when I started at Ocean Spray, I reached out to them knowing their good work."  

JonesWorks is specifically working on communications, key product research and development, external announcements, sustainability and partnerships. Budget information for the account was not disclosed.

The agency has supported Ocean Spray on its "pink portfolio," which consists of products made from pink cranberries. JonesWorks partnered with clothing and accessory retailer Vineyard Vines and Bright Pink, an organization dedicated to prevention-focused breast and ovarian cancer education for women, on a pink cranberry harvest in mid-September. Influencers and media outlets were invited to the event, which featured a pink Vineyard Vines whale that Ocean Spray made from one of its farmer-owned cranberry bogs.

"JonesWorks helped us in creating the partnership, the event and the creative tie to the announcement," said Ferzli. "Our work will be focused on empowerment and action toward women’s health."

She added that Ocean Spray is planning to visit college campuses to teach women how to do a breast self-exam and prevent and catch early symptoms of ovarian cancer.  

"Our mission is to connect our farms to families for a better life," said Ferzli. "JonesWorks is helping us with our long-term calendar and strategy as well as the planning and marketing behind reaching that mission."

Courtney Engel, MD, of consumer and lifestyle, is the account lead. She was a PRWeek 40 Under 40 honoree in 2013. 

"The story of Ocean Spray being a farmer-owned cooperative hasn’t really been out there yet, so it is our job to tell those stories and honor those farmers," Engel said.

JonesWorks’ talent brands include quarterback Tom Brady, actor Dwayne Johnson and tennis superstar Venus Williams. The firm also works with Scooter Braun’s SB Projects, a diversified entertainment and media company, among other clients.

Citizen Relations previously handled PR for Ocean Spray; the relationship ended last December. 

Editor's note: This story was updated on November 11 with information about agencies considered.

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