C-K adds chef’s favorite Vitamix to new business mix

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Just when things seem darkest, a ray of light often materializes to indicate all is not lost.   And sure enough, that is what has happened at Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago.

As the agency is preparing to defend it Porsche North America account, the agency got the good news it has been named agency of record for Vitamix.  That means the agency will be adding an account with approximately $12 million in billings annually.

When we first saw the brand name Vitamix, we must confess we thought it was some sort of vitamin supplement.  Not being at all conversant with most things cooking-related, it took us a short while to get up to speed on everything to do with Vitamix.

But long story short, we learned the Cleveland-based company is a major player in the high-end blender and mixer business.  And has been since 1921.

Anyway, it appears Vitamix is ready for a major ad campaign to boost its profile in the culinary world and beyond.  Per an agency spokeswoman, C-K’s duties for Vitamix will include brand strategy and positioning, advertising, media buying and planning, as well as social media.  The first campaign for the brand is expected to debut in the spring.

“Vitamix not a brand, it’s a lifestyle”

The goal of the new Vitamix campaign coming in a few months?

Karen Seamen, C-K’s COOThat’s clear from the comments made by Cramer-Krasselt Chief Operating Officer Karen Seamen in the wake of the account win:  “From the who’s who list of top chefs who rely on Vitamix to the legions of devoted loyalists who cook with nothing else, this is a true passion brand. 

“This isn’t an appliance, it’s a lifestyle, and we see a huge opportunity to leverage these ambassadors to shift perceptions of the brand from a premium appliance to a way of life.”

Another goal is to make clear that the Vitamix brand of blenders is far from ordinary. In particular, Vitamix is known for manufacturing a self-cleaning machine that allows users to chop, blend, puree and more with a single appliance.

And it appears the Vitamix appliance’s capabilities will be a key theme in whatever campaign Cramer-Krasselt develops for the client.  “At Vitamix our goal is to liberate the world from conventional food and beverage preparation boundaries,” added Karen Haefling, vice president of marketing for Vitamix.

Vitamix credited with creating the infomercial 

Certainly, Cramer-Krasselt is bringing on board a new client with an interesting and rich history as it relates to advertising and marketing.  Aside from being family owned since 1921, the company manufactures its products in Cleveland.  And in an era when “Made In the U.S.A.” is increasingly something to crow about, that’s likely to play a big part in positioning the brand.

Vitamix also had a major hand in revolutionizing the direct marketing industry as we know it.  Most importantly, Vitamix is recognized for having created the infomercial genre that has become such an important and effective means of selling so many products today.

Of course, as Cramer-Krasselt gets to work on Vitamix, a part of the agency also will be focused on trying to hold on to Porsche North America.  No matter how much Vitamix may enhance the C-K profile, it can’t quite match what Porsche had been able to do  in that regard. 

C-K fighting to keep Porsche business

Which is probably why — to the surprise of some observers — C-K decided to fight to retain the Porsche business.  The thinking within the executive suite at C-K appears to be that this is a global review mandated by Porsche executives at headquarters In Germany, and not an effort to unseat C-K.

The fact that this review is coming at a time when Porsche sales in North America are at record levels certainly would suggest there is no logical reason for C-K to lose the ad account.  Still, logic increasingly appears to play little role in decisions by marketing executives on the client side in many situations.

All C-K can do is hope that it has read the tea leaves correctly and isn’t about to waste a lot of time, effort and money on a hopeless cause.

Contact Lewis Lazare at: LewisL3@aol.com

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