Duracell Names Wieden + Kennedy as Its Creative Agency of Record After a Review

By Erik Oster Comment

Duracell has appointed Wieden + Kennedy as its creative agency of record following a review.

W+K will be tasked with developing integrated marketing promoting all Duracell brands, including digital, social, TV, experiential and design initiatives. Its first work for Duracell is expected some time in early 2017.

“At Duracell, we strive to make world-class advertising and we are looking forward to partnering with W+K NY,” Duracell vice president of marketing Ramon Velutini said in a statement. “They have a proven track record of fueling iconic brands and we are excited to see what we can to together.”

“Duracell is a great American brand. They make a trusted product that’s part of people’s everyday lives, and they have a real appetite for breakthrough work that will resonate in culture,” added W+K New York executive creative director Karl Lieberman. “All of this adds up to an ideal partner for us. We’re looking forward to helping to build the brand and sell some batteries.”

According to Kantar Media, the brand spent around $30 million on measured media in 2015 and $11 million during the first half of this year. The latter figure is up from spending over the same period in 2015, but spending appears to be down from 2014, when the brand reportedly spent $50 million.

W+K takes over for MDC Partners’ Anomaly, which won the account following a 2014 review. Anomaly’s recent work for the brand includes a Rogue One-themed holiday spot launched earlier this month, which follows a similar “Battle For Christmas Morning” effort released last year ahead of the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Anomaly announced earlier this month that it was not participating in the review, which followed Berkshire Hathaway’s acquisition of Duracell from P&G.

Anomaly sent us the following statement from CEO Carl Johnson:

“In the week where we have been fortunate to win Best in Show at the ANA Multicultural Excellence Awards for our work on Duracell and also having just released our second high-profile Duracell/Star Wars Holiday campaign, we are announcing our parting of the ways with the company.

Back in Spring, several weeks after completing the acquisition of Duracell from P&G, and following the departures of the previous Global CEO, and the General Manager of Duracell, North America, new owners, Berkshire Hathaway, decided to review all aspects of the business including their marketing agencies. This is 100 percent their right. It is also 100 percent our right to choose not to participate in the process; which is what we decided to do in this instance.

Whilst ending our role as AOR at the end of June, in the spirit of partnership and professionalism, we agreed to continue working through to the end of the year, solely focusing on the completion of the Star Wars Holiday campaign which we have now successfully launched. We love the Duracell brand and are very proud of our work we made together over the years. We wish the new owners well and will be moving onto the many new opportunities in front of us.”

That doesn’t exactly explain why they sat it out, but last week Johnson told Campaign that Duracell’s new leadership no longer had “shared ambition and shared values” in common with Anomaly.