Kerker Wins Johnsonville Sausage Account

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Johnsonville Sausage LLC has awarded its $10 million account to Kerker, which was named agency of record after a three-month review.


Kerker competed with Barkley Evergreen and Partners Inc., Kansas City, MO; D'Arcy, New York; and Carmichael Lynch and Periscope, both Minneapolis shops. Clarity Coverday Fury, Minneapolis, was the incumbent.


"What we're going to do is validate and identify a positioning that will give the brand credit for its accomplishments and integrate that across disciplines like interactive, advertising and, potentially, direct," said Christine Fruechte, senior vice president and director of client services at Kerker, Minneapolis.


The new agency is charged with strategic planning, production and creative development of all marketing communications for the Johnsonville and Perri brands of sausages.


Established in 1945 as a small butcher shop, the family-owned Johnsonville Sausage, Sheboygan, WI, soon became a regional meat company. During the past decade, the company has become a national player, selling bratwurst, breakfast links, patties and rolls as well as cooked and smoked sausages.


Starting in the fall, Kerker will break print, broadcast, Internet marketing and outdoor advertising to push the Johnsonville sausage products.


The Johnsonville win adds to Kerker's roster of clients, which includes U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, 3M, Italian restaurant chain Buca di Beppo and Definity Health. Agency billings last year totaled $50 million.


As part of the Johnsonville assignment, the company's Web site will be tweaked to "complement an overarching brand strategy, and it also provides e-commerce opportunities," Fruechte said. "Interactive will play an integral role in extending the brand experience with consumers. It's going to foster one-on-one relationships between Johnsonville Sausage and their consumers."


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