Duracell Picks Wieden + Kennedy as Its New Creative Agency of Record

New York office to handle $30 million account

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Duracell, the maker of North America's top-selling batteries, has chosen Wieden + Kennedy New York as its creative agency of record after a review.

W+K will develop integrated marketing initiatives across the Duracell family of products including digital, social, TV, experiential and design work. Its first such efforts will debut in early 2017.

"At Duracell, we strive to make world-class advertising and we are looking forward to partnering with WKNY," said Duracell's vp of marketing, Ramon Velutini, in a statement. "They have a proven track record of fueling iconic brands and we are excited to see what we can to together."

Duracell's last review came in 2014, when MDC Partners' Anomaly beat out the New York offices of Grey, mcgarrybowen and incumbent Saatchi & Saatchi to win the business.

After that decision, Duracell split from parent company P&G, which agreed to sell to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. (Buffett is a longtime investor in P&G.) Anomaly CEO Carl Johnson later told The Drum that its relationship with Duracell would not be affected by the news, and the agency continued to produce work such as this ad starring Mad Men's John Slattery, which debuted in the spring.

Earlier this month, however, Anomaly announced it would not be participating in the latest review—which began several months after Berkshire Hathaway completed its acquisition of Duracell. Most of the client's top executives left during the acquisition process, and Velutini joined Duracell from P&G in 2015 before being promoted to vp of marketing earlier this month.

"Duracell is a great American brand. They make a trusted product that's part of people's everyday lives, and they have a real appetite for breakthrough work that will resonate in culture," said W+K New York executive creative director Karl Lieberman, who will be leading the account. "All of this adds up to an ideal partner for us. We're looking forward to helping to build the brand and sell some batteries."

Various market research firms show that Duracell is the top-selling alkaline battery brand in the U.S., with chief competitor Energizer in second place.

According to the latest numbers from Kantar Media, Duracell spent just over $30 million on paid media in the U.S. in 2015 and $11 million during the first half of 2016. The latter is an increase over the brand's spend for the previous year, though Adweek reported in 2014 that "the brand's annual media spending hovers around $50 million."

@PatrickCoffee patrick.coffee@adweek.com Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.