Tillamook Dairy Ups Its Marketing Strategy

Hires 72andSunny to lead creative efforts

The coop has employed agencies on a project basis in the past.

Tillamook, the Oregon farmer-owned dairy cooperative, has tapped 72andSunny to head strategy and brand development.

"We have an extremely aggressive growth plan for the next five years," said John Russell, senior director of marketing at Tillamook. "72andSunny will get us to where we want to go, given the kind of work they’ve done for Target, Starbucks and Samsung."

Russell, who worked with 72andSunny CEO John Boiler when the two were at Wieden + Kennedy, said Tillamook would increase its past media spending by 60-70 percent. According to Kantar Media, Tillamook spent just under $3 million in media last year, although Russell said non-measured media like shopper marketing was a high-priority for the company as well.

In the past, the 105-year-old coop worked with agencies and design firms on a project basis, and will continue to do so even with a lead agency in place.

Russell, who joined Tillamook six years ago, said the company has pursued a more aggressive growth strategy since Patrick Criteser joined Tillamook in 2012 as president and CEO. He had previously been chief at Portland-based Coffee Bean International. 

Tillamook is known mostly for its cheddar cheese, which is available in all 50 states but the brand’s stronghold is in the Western U.S. and Russell said that region will remain the focus of its marketing efforts. He said the company will develop a new brand strategy with 72andSunny, emphasizing the growth of the company’s share in ice cream, Greek yogurt and butter categories.

In terms of future messaging, Russell said 72andSunny will stay true to Tillamook’s roots.

"We want to make sure everyone knows where their food comes from. We need to make sure people understand we are owned by 90 farmer families who provide milk and make all the decisions," he said. "If you want to have a discussion about farm to table, we need to make sure people know who we are."

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