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After 80 Years With One Ad Shop, Land O' Lakes Hires The Martin Agency

Big changes at America's top butter brand

Land O' Lakes stuck with Minneapolis agency Mithun for decades.

Two months after announcing its creative review, Land O' Lakes Inc. has picked The Martin Agency as the agency of record for its dairy brands including Land O' Lakes butter and Kozy Shack puddings. This move comes after the account spent an incredible 80 years with Minneapolis agency Mithun (which, along with Martin, is owned by IPG).

Mithun was one of six agencies participating in the review, and three candidates competed in the final round. Moving forward, the Richmond, Va.-based Martin will handle communications planning and creative development in addition to all media-planning and -buying duties for the business.

Like so many agency reviews, this one followed the client's appointment of a new CMO. Land O' Lakes marketing chief Tim Scott served as international CEO of mcgarrybowen and president of the Dentsu-owned shop's Chicago office before leaving the agency world to go client-side in April. He and his management team helped run the three-month review along with outside consultancy SelectResources International.

Regarding the decision, Scott said, "We're delighted to begin work with The Martin Agency. From their speed in learning our business to their translation of strategy into impressive initial creative thoughts to their chemistry with our team, it's already a strong partnership."

Land O' Lakes remains America's most popular butter brand, but its parent company is not a particularly big spender—Kantar Media reports that Land O' Lakes Inc. reduced its measured media outlay from $20 million in 2013 to $8.1 million in 2014. Still, Martin Agency CEO Matt Williams told Adweek that the new account will allow his agency to do what it does best: "To take brands that people know really well and inject them with a new sense of energy and momentum." He noted that "Land O'Lakes is a household name and a company with big ambitions," adding, "everyone has it in their fridge."

Does this mean a new TV-centric marketing push for the client? "It's a little early to know the specific media mix," Williams said, "but one of the things we are most excited about is the opportunity to capture the essence of the brand and bring it to life across lots of different media from digital and social to mass media and internal communications."

Land O' Lakes is also keen to raise its profile among Hispanic consumers. Martin worked with fellow IPG shop Casanova Pendrill on the review, and Williams said, "We partnered with Casanova from the beginning so that our ideas would do well in both the general and Hispanic markets. We're really excited about what's to come."

The first new work on this account will launch in 2016.

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