AdAge announces Battery becoming an AOR for Land O'Lakes

Land O’ Lakes has named Battery and Havas Media as creative and media agencies of record, respectively, for its Dairy Foods retail brands, following a competitive pitch. Battery’s LA office will lead the charge on creative strategy and execution, while Havas Media North America will be responsible for all media buying and planning for the brand’s butter, cheese, and licensee products. In recent years, Land O’ Lakes did not have an agency of record working on creative strategy and execution, according to a statement by the brand, which declined to discuss prior media relationships.

Colle & McVoy, which completed a project this summer for the brand’s foodservice business and continues to partner with other divisions, including the Vermont Creamery team, was not part of this latest pitch, Christine Freuchte, CEO of the agency confirmed.

With its new agency, the legacy brand will look to target “the next generation of butter and cheese consumers,” the company said, in addition to its current consumers.

“This is a pivotal time for the Dairy Foods retail business,” a spokeswoman for Land O’ Lakes told Ad Age. “Consumers are demanding that brands show up in new and different ways—from frictionless digital integrations to standing for something more than just your bottom line.” The new approach is said to involve more digital work, including a revamped social presence beginning this fall.

Currently, Land O’Lakes is owned by over 1,600 dairy farmers and more than 1,700 agricultural producers and retail owners across America.

Moving forward, the agencies will focus on Land O’ Lakes’ co-op business model, “positioning the Land O’Lakes brand in a way that celebrates the innovation and community that underpins this structure” to “drive meaningful connections and help grow their business,” Anson Sowby, CEO and co-founder of Battery said in a statement.

The appointments follow some significant changes for the 100-year-old brand. In February of last year, the company removed a longstanding part of its logo, which was an image of a Native American woman kneeling against a background of green pine trees and a blue lake. New products now feature the lake and trees with the words “Land O’ Lakes, 1921” in bold letters. In a statement last year, the company explained it would focus on its “farmer-owned” roots.

“We’ve recognized we need packaging that reflects the foundation and heart of our company culture—and nothing does that better than our farmer-owners whose milk is used to produce Land O’Lakes’ dairy products,” Beth Ford, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes, said in a statement last year.

In July of last year, the brand brought on Heather Malenshek as its new chief marketing officer. Malenshek has experience working for legacy brands having previously spent five years at Harley-Davidson Motor Co., most recently as the motorcycle brand’s CMO until 2019. During her time with Harley, she worked on marketing efforts dedicated to targeting millennial audiences.

Some notable recent work Battery has churned out this year includes a June TV spot for mobile-based video game Rise of Kingdoms, which features actor Alexander Ludwig, and cameo-based work for cloud computing company Zadara that same month. Battery also helped the 2021 Sundance Film Festival nab its largest audience ever, despite a hybrid format.

“Land O’Lakes has the momentum of an iconic brand and a 100-year foundation, and we are thrilled to unleash a brand-new creative idea to continue to drive business results,” Malenshek said in a statement. “We are in a pivotal moment in culture that demands the very best to connect authentically with consumers. Battery and Havas Media are the perfect partners to transform our approach and take our work to the next level.”