A&P's Eight O'Clock Coffee last week awarded its estimated $5 million advertising account to DeVito/Verdi, sources said.
The shop beat The Kaplan Thaler Group and Warwick Baker O'Neill, New York, after a three-month review that began with 15 agencies [Adweek, Sept. 6].
The review was handled by AAR/Bob Wolf Partners in New York and Los Angeles, but officials declined comment, as did those at DeVito/Verdi. The client did not return calls. A campaign is expected next year and will likely include TV and print, a source said.
Sold in about 750 A&P-owned supermarkets in North America, Eight O'Clock Coffee has long been a leader in the whole-bean category, but has lost market share to Procter & Gamble's Folger's and Kraft's Maxwell House, considered the client's chief rivals, said a source.
Starbucks whole-bean coffee and P&G's Millstone brand are also gaining ground, per Information Resources. A&P is a unit of Compass Foods, Montvale, N.J., which had spent $137,000 on media for the brand in 1998, per Competitive Media Reporting.
Prior work was by Words & Pictures, Park Ridge, N.J., which urged people to "breathe it
in and taste the difference," in radio ads.
Allen McCusker, president of strategic-marketing firm The Canaan Parish Group, New Canaan, Conn., said coupons and promotions would be the client's best move, targeting those who shop in A&P-owned stores. "You've got to grab them while they're in the aisle," he said.