JWT Specialized Communications has been assigned the rollout marketing duties for a startup health/sports drink getting a lift from former National Football League star Herschel Walker.
Aloe Lu Ya (as in "hallelujah"), a fruit-flavored beverage containing aloe vera, is currently available in health food stores. But with a major purchase order ready to be filled with Wal-Mart, the Dallas-based brand is looking for JWTSC to mount as much as a $3-5 million marketing campaign to bring the drink to mainstream markets.
The agency won the business without a review after talks with officials of Renaissance Man, the maker of the beverage.
JWTSC managing partner Ron Jenkins said initial assignments will primarily revolve around events, public relations, Internet advertising, in-store merchandising and numerous public appearances by Walker.
Print advertising "will follow the distribution channels," said Jenkins. Work is scheduled to launch April 1, when the drink becomes available in Wal-Mart stores throughout the country, he said.
One of the Dallas agency's charges is to rebrand the beverage beyond its healthy choice image or as a sports drink alternative to products like Gatorade.
"It has a lot of attributes as a sports drink, but we have classified it as a family beverage," said Jenkins. "We want it to be something that active families use."
The creative work will center around the theme, "Tastes great and is good for you."
Jenkins said the Aloe Lu Ya account represents the first major new business win for JWTSC's recently formed Brand Consulting Group, led by senior vice president Veronica Spencer.
Spencer, along with regional vice president and regional creative director Mike Maccioli, will bring their packaged-goods experience for Kraft, Anheuser-Busch and Frito-Lay into play on the new business.