Caribou Coffee Picks Vitro as Its New Creative Agency of Record

By Patrick Coffee 

Today Caribou Coffee confirmed that it has named MDC Partners’ Vitro as its new creative AOR after a competitive review.

The account had previously been with Minnesota’s Colle + McVoy, which won creative duties in a 2009 review (Caribou is also based in Minneapolis).

The move to Vitro would appear to be of a piece with the plans of parent company Joh A. Beckinser, which bought Caribou in 2012 for $340 million, to assert a larger role in the international coffee industry. The company, which is run by one of Germany’s wealthiest families, also owns Peet’s Coffee and Tea and Stumptown, among other caffeinated brands; it purchased podmaker Keurig late last year for a whopping $13.9 billion.

Vitro most recently made news by poaching Jake Camozzi and Victor Camozzi of GSD&M to run creative at a new office in Austin after making some staffing changes in its San Diego headquarters.

The agency will now assume full responsibility for creative, digital and strategy work for the brand. The account will be run out of the San Diego office.

Caribou CMO Michele Vig says, “From our first meeting, VITRO showed us they had the deep experience and fearless commitment to take on the giant players in our space, and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with an agency built around a true challenger spirit. As Caribou enters new markets and faces new challenges, it’s critical that we be bold in sharing our brand’s unique point of view, and VITRO is the perfect partner to help us do that.”

“We have an incredible amount of respect for Caribou Coffee, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be their partner in shaking up the coffee category,” says founder and CCO John Vitro. “Consumers need to understand that there’s a better choice in coffee houses, and we’re going to have a ton of fun, and probably more than a few coffees, bringing this idea to life.”

Vitro’s own tagline reads, “At VITRO, We Steal Share”–and the shop will have quite a bit of share to steal from such Caribou competitors as Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. (The chain currently operates 659 locations worldwide and sells products via retailers around the globe.)

Vitro’s first campaign for its new client should debut within the next few months.

When news of the agency’s Austin office broke, we heard that two new business wins precipitated the move; Vitro declined to provide us with information about those clients for this post.