Kraft Heinz names Havas Formula as US PR AOR for 7 brands

The brands include household names such as Kraft Singles and newer products like Just Crack an Egg.

One of the first campaigns Havas Formula worked on was last month’s Kraft Singles Single campaign.

CHICAGO: Kraft Heinz has named Havas Formula as PR AOR for its Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Kraft Singles, Capri Sun, Just Crack an Egg, Kraft Real Mayo, Kraft Salad Dressing and MiO brands.

Havas Formula began working with the brands at the start of the year after winning the accounts in November following an RFP process. 

The agency is working to drive earned media coverage and PR-first efforts across all seven brands. Tara Reid, president of Havas Formula Midwest, explained that the agency will be delivering holistic and creative brand campaigns, tapping into influencer relations, press events and creative storytelling opportunities.

“We are supporting a range of brands that are in very different places of the brand’s lifestyle and they have different PR needs,” she said. “For Just Crack an Egg, we are focused on building brand and product awareness and driving trial [use]. Meanwhile, for Kraft Singles, we are delivering earned media coverage, but it is about supporting campaigns that are touching on some of the truly iconic elements of the brand itself.”

One of the first campaigns the agency worked on was last month’s Kraft Singles Single campaign, in which the cheese brand and singer Kelis collaborated to launch a song called “Square It.” The music video for the song was directed by Sammy Rawal and features dancer Honey Balenciaga.

“That was part of the brand’s Square It platform, which is about bringing Kraft Singles into pop culture conversation,” said Reid. Havas Formula supported the campaign on earned media.

Reid is overseeing accounts for Midwest-based brands Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Kraft Singles and Just Crack an Egg; Jarrod Walpert, East president, is managing Kraft Mayo, Kraft Salad Dressing, Capri Sun and MiO; and MD Laura Schlecht is ensuring there is consistency across all the brands. More than 20 people at Havas Formula are working on the Kraft Heinz business.

“Our latest approach to PR is putting the consumer first and at the center of everything we do,” said Kraft Heinz head of North America communications Stephanie Peterson. “We are digging into insights to truly understand who they are, what they want and to serve them the kind of content they find interesting and engaging. That is what Havas Formula will help us do.”

Budget information was not disclosed.

Kraft Heinz has also retained Alison Brod Marketing + Communications, which it has worked with since 2015, as PR AOR for Kraft Mac & Cheese, Velveeta, Jet-Puffed, Colliders and new account Delimex. Alison Brod Marketing + Communications was the incumbent agency on Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

“The new evolved brand PR approach has worked well for us as partners to foster creativity and prioritize an ‘always on’ program for earned efforts.” Alison Brod, owner of the eponymous agency, said via email.

This year, Kraft Heinz also appointed Zeno Group as the primary PR U.S. agency partner for its brands Lunchables, Oscar Mayer and Heinz. Egami Group, the multicultural, minority-owned communications firm that Zeno bought a stake in and formed a strategic partnership with last year, is supporting the agency’s work on the account.

“We are reinventing the way we approach and execute earned media at Kraft Heinz and bringing on agencies like Havas Formula and Zeno into our family of agencies is helping us elevate the work we are doing and making sure it is connecting as part of our larger marketing mix to how we are rethinking and reigniting that brand relevancy,” said Peterson.

ICF Next was the incumbent on Lunchables, Oscar Mayer, Heinz, Kraft Singles, Capri Sun, Just Crack an Egg, Kraft Real Mayo, Kraft Salad Dressing and MiO.

Peterson said that the agency is no longer working with any Kraft Heinz brands, but it does partner with Planters, which Hormel Foods acquired from Kraft Heinz last year.

“We are enormously proud of our decade-long ​partnership with Kraft Heinz,” an ICF Next spokesperson said. “If you told us back in 2012 that we’d drive significant growth across so many of the company's brands, play a key role in several of the decade’s most effective and pop-culture relevant campaigns and win a long list of national and global honors, we would have happily signed up for it.”

In September 2020, Kraft Heinz said it planned to cut $2 billion in costs over five years to fuel investment as part of its turnaround plan. It also said it would update its products to focus on consumer trends, including cutting down on sugar and using fewer ingredients. 

Last month, the marketing team was centralized under Sanjiv Gajiwala, North America chief growth officer. Previously, marketing was embedded within each individual brand.

Last year, Kraft Heinz hired Alex Abraham as VP of global corporate communications and reputation management and appointed Kathy Krenger as chief communications officer.

Michael Mullen retired from his role as Kraft Heinz's head of global communications and corporate affairs on August 15 after 23 years at the company.

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