Y&R, Ogilvy Hang In for Balance Bar’s $30 Mil. Biz

N.Y. Shops in Running While Suissa Miller Effort Is in the Works
LOS ANGELES–Balance Bar Co. is considering two Kraft Foods roster shops–Young & Rubicam and Ogilvy & Mather–to handle its ad account, following Kraft’s recent acquisition of the nutritional-foods brand, sources said. Billings are estimated at $30-40 million.
The New York shops pitched creative concepts during the past two weeks, sources said. A decision is expected this week. The Carpinteria, Calif., company could not be reached for comment.
Kraft, the North American food business of Philip Morris, acquired Balance Bar earlier this year for an estimated $268 million. Besides nutrition bars, Balance Bar markets energy and nutrition snacks, and powdered and ready-to-drink beverages.
Previous ads, by incumbent Suissa Miller, Los Angeles, positioned the brand as an antidote to “adult hunger” with the tagline, “Never be out of balance.”
Last month, the shop launched a $5 million campaign for Balance Bar’s line of Jenny Craig diet nutrition bars with the tagline, “Tastes great. Lose weight. Naturally.” Suissa has handled the business since 1998.
Balance Bar is expected to introduce its Balance Gold energy bar this summer. Suissa Miller is developing a $7 million campaign for Balance Gold, described as a nutrition bar that tastes like a candy bar. TV commercials are expected to run on MTV, VH1, ESPN and ESPN2.
The campaign is scheduled to break in September.
The billings figure represents a substantial uptick from what Balance Bar has put behind ads in the past. Last year, total measured media on the brand amounted to $8 million, according to Competitive Media Reporting. That included $2 million on Total Balance Nutritional Drink alone.
The nutrition bar category is likely to heat up. Nestlƒ S.A. purchased Balance Bar rival PowerBar just weeks before Kraft acquired Balance Bar. K