Duracell Picks BBH as Lead Creative Agency and VaynerMedia as Social AOR

Duracell has two new agencies to power its marketing, picking Publicis-owned BBH USA as its new lead creative agency in the U.S. and entrusting VaynerMedia with its social marketing.

The Berkshire Hathaway-owned brand held a pitch over the summer that it ran internally to pick a new agency to replace Wieden+Kennedy. The indie agency has held the account for seven years, but the brand and agency mutually agreed to part ways earlier this year. BBH’s full scope will include designing Duracell’s brand strategy and creative platform, while also overseeing the brand’s inter-agency team, which includes VaynerMedia, Citizen Relations and media AOR EssenceMediacom.

The brand is looking to its marketing to drive relevancy with the new generation of consumers, Ramon Velutini, Duracell global CMO, told Adweek. “Batteries might be a set-it-and-forget-it purchase, but in order to really steal the hearts and minds of consumers, our marketing should be anything but.”

Velutini declined to reveal which other agencies participated in the final round or Duracell’s marketing spend, but COMvergence tracked Duracell’s marketing spend at $60 million in 2022, with $25 million of that coming through digital media.

He’s looking for “big swings” creatively, BBH CCO Erica Roberts told Adweek and explained that’s what led to BBH agreeing to participate in the pitch. “The only way to beat these headwinds is with breakthrough creative, and when you’ve got a champion like that, you’re destined to make great stuff.”

Making the CMO uncomfortable

Velutini has been with Duracell for about a decade. When he first met with BBH, he told the agency that he said just about every idea, Roberts said. With that challenge ahead, Roberts said Velutini and his team wanted to make them feel uncomfortable. “They wanted to be pushed to think about their category entirely differently and their brand entirely differently.”

They succeeded.

“Both BBH and Vayner found ways to push our brand into directions we’ve not yet considered but in a way that preserved the brand equity we’ve built over the past decades,” Velutini said.

The first work will debut this year—Roberts said there will be a holiday campaign but couldn’t share details past that, but ultimately BBH will be tasked with developing a new creative platform for the brand next spring. VaynerMedia, which has worked with Duracell on a project basis since 2022, will oversee creative work related to F1 events in Las Vegas and Austin, Texas, this fall.

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