Veryfine Teams With Modernista!

Veryfine’s selection last week of Modernista! as its lead creative agency signals the juice maker’s desire to aggressively market its Fruit20 brand—and gives the two-year-old Boston shop its first beverage account.

Veryfine spending through Modernista! is estimated in the $6-10 million range for the first year.

Veryfine also sel ected Marketing Solutions and Laforce + Stevens, both in New York, to handle media buying and public relations chores, respectively.

Modernista!, which has been named Adweek’s New England Agency of the Year for 2001 (See story on page 24), will craft an integrated campaign that includes print, radio and outdoor executions for the Fruit20 line of naturally flavored spring water. Work is expected to break in mid-March.

Modernista! has begun developing creative concepts and is working on Fruit20’s first tagline.

“We’re going to build a great brand and define a whole new category of beverages,” said Sam Rowse, president of Littleton, Mass.-based Veryfine.

For Modernista!, the Fruit20 work represents a chance to work with a “high-potential brand” likely to grow in the near future, said Mike Densmore, director of account service at the agency.

Launched in 1999 and marketed mainly in the Northeast, Fruit20 has never been backed by a concerted advertising effort. The $6-10 million budget represents a nearly threefold increase over the client’s budgets with former lead agency Holland Mark, which had handled Veryfine since 1997.

Holland Mark for the most part produced general image ads that focused on the company’s values as a long-established, family-run enterprise.

In November, shorty after that Boston agency closed its doors, Veryfine recruited Holland Mark’s marketing and communications director, Kristin Toli, to oversee national marketing and promotions.

Toli and Rowse—who also serves as chief marketing officer of Veryfine—subsequently hired Holland Mark’s former president, Chris Colbert, as a brand consultant, and the trio began mulling agency options.

They turned to Modernista! without a review, based on the agency’s high-profile work for clients such as the Gap, MTV and General Motors’ Hummer. “We view Modernista! as a creative leader among agencies,” Rowse said.