Blue Diamond Growers Taps Creative Shop

Y&R's first work is expected in July

The San Francisco office of Young & Rubicam has added some nuts to its account roster.

Blue Diamond Growers, the Sacramento, Calif.-based cooperative behind Blue Diamond Almonds, Nut Thins crackers, Almond Breeze milk and Nut Chips, has hired the WPP Group agency after a review.

Major media spending on the brands exceeded $20 million last year, according to Nielsen. That figure doesn’t include online expenditures.

Y&R beat three other finalists to win the business. Sources identified the other shops as Pereira & O’Dell in San Francisco, Campbell-Ewald in Warren, Mich., and DGWB in Santa Ana, Calif. 

Blue Diamond director of marketing Algernon Greenlee said in a statement that Y&R’s executives “absolutely nailed the strategy and we believe their creative will make an emotional connection with the consumer.”

The new shop’s first brand campaign is expected to break in July.

The Blue Diamond business comes to Y&R as its National Collegiate Basketball Association account exits. Y&R San Francisco has opted not to defend the NCAA account, which went into review last month. The outgoing assignment represents revenue of $1.25 million, according to the NCAA’s request for proposals.

Other Y&R S.F. accounts include Chevron, Citrix, Caesarstone countertops and Crystal Cruises, which it gained in the fall. The agency launched its first Crystal Cruises campaign this week with the tagline, “Begin a new story.”

About 50 staffers work in San Francisco, which is linked with Y&R Los Angeles under the umbrella of Y&R California. The West Coast operation is led by president Doug Sweeny—a former vp of global brand marketing at Levi’s—and chief creative officer Joe Kayser. Both joined the agency last year.

Media planning and buying were not part of Blue Diamond’s review and remain at Harmelin Media in Bala Cynwyd, Pa. Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., managed the process.