Arnold Wins Avocados From Mexico

Aims to broaden appeal

Mexican avocado producers want consumers to think beyond guacamole and are prepping new marketing initiatives to take the fruit from exotic to everyday use.

Avocados from Mexico, the newly-formed marketing agency for the produce, has selected Arnold Worldwide after a review which began with 52 agency proposals and was cut to 11 shops that presented to AFM. The Havas network beat two other N.Y. finalists, Grey and BBDO, for the integrated assignment. AFM is allocating $36 million to grow the category, which already commands more than 60 percent of the avocados supplied to the U.S. Ketchum also was selected, to lead AFM’s public relations efforts.

In April, Tim O’Connor, the former CEO of the U.S. Potato Board, became chief executive at AFM, a collaboration of the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association and the Mexican Avocado Producers and Packers. The producers/packers and distributors each used to have independent boards.

O’Connor said Arnold’s strategic thoughts and creative abilities were deciding factors in the outcome of the agency review.

“Arnold came in with the same information as other agencies but had the ability to look at our produce and take it forward in a unique way,” he told Adweek.

Arnold’s first work is expected to launch nationally in July.

This is the agency's latest win since former top regional McCann Erickson and TBWA exec Robert LePlae was named global CEO in January. In February, the agency landed a place on Del Monte Foods’ agency roster when it won Milk-Bone after an agency review. That was followed by the win of digital business from Volvo Cars of North America and, just recently, the addition of Santander Credit Card business, which expands the agency’s relationship with Sovereign\Santander.