Butterball Turkey Trots to Y&R

Young & Rubicam has a new reason to give thanks.

Butterball has selected the New York office of Y&R to handle U.S. creative duties on its line of turkey offerings.

The selection came after a review in which there were two other finalists. The identity of the other contenders could not be ascertained.

In making the hire, Bill Klump, svp of marketing at Butterball, cited Y&R’s grasp of the brand and its competition, adding that the agency’s strategy and creative were “seamless and standout.”

Beyond traditional advertising, Y&R will create digital and retail ads and handle media planning duties, the WPP Group agency said. Sister shop MEC in New York will buy Butterball’s media time.

In recent years, the Garner, N.C.-based client has used smaller agencies for retail and activation marketing efforts. As such, Butterball has not had a lead creative shop and has spent relatively little in major media — about $300,000 last year and $500,000 in the first eight months of 2010, according to Nielsen.

With new products to launch, however, Butterball is expected to up the ante next year, though Y&R declined to discuss future spending.

The agency plans to produce the work it pitched to win the business and its first campaign will likely break in the spring, said New York president Jane Barratt (pictured).

The win comes a month after Y&R lost consumer-directed creative duties on MetLife to MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky and as the shop defends its global Accenture account. Final presentations in the Accenture review are slated for next month.

In addition to whole turkeys and turkey parts, Butterball sells the meat in the form of franks, bacon, cold cuts, sausage, burgers and meatballs. The company claims that it produces about 20 percent of all turkey sold in the U.S.