Johannes Leonardo’s Kraft win is a (smallish) slice of the cake for WPP too

New York’s Johannes Leonardo – 25 per cent owned by WPP – seems to be in the driving seat at Kraft these days, adding Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Kraft Singles and Oscar Mayer to its Bagel Bites pizza snacks, Classico Pasta Sauce, Ore-Ida frozen potato products and Velveeta Cheese and Shells & Cheese brands.

You can see why Kraft Heinz needs some savvy marketing these days when you look at these names – all very 1960s. Kraft’s new CEO is Miguel Patricio, a former AB InBev marketer.

Johannes Leonard CCO and co-founder Jan Jacobs says: “When we were given the opportunity to further grow our partnership with Kraft, and go after Oscar Mayer and Kraft Mac & Cheese, two master brands within their roster, we jumped at the chance.

“They’re in the midst of a massive creative transformation as an organization and we’re in the trenches every day with them working to bring powerful ideas to these brands. In this climate when more families are turning back to more meals around the table, we have an incredible opportunity at our feet.”

JL is an interesting one for WPP which once owned 49 per cent of the high-flying agency. JL is also the lead agency of WPP’s American VW creative business.

25 per cent of Kraft creative is better than none and it helps to keep Kraft out of the clutches of Publicis Groupe, which handles US media.

Maybe, as ad holding groups morph into consultancies with some creative units attached, owning a stake in creative will be the way to go rather than trying to do it themselves.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.