Ryvita appoints Havas London for brand reboot as Davina McCall association ends

Associated Foods-owned brand has not had retained agency since parting ways with Creature in 2017.

Ryvita: appointed Havas London without a pitch
Ryvita: appointed Havas London without a pitch

Ryvita is planning its first major ad push in several years with the appointment of Havas London, its first retained agency in half a decade.

Havas London was effectively appointed without a pitch. Ryvita owner Associated British Foods had planned on a procurement-led process earlier this year, but after conversations with Havas it began working with the shop on a trial basis. It subsequently appointed the agency without a formal pitch.

The cracker brand, which has historically played on its healthy-eating/dieting credentials, has briefed Havas London to devise a "major relaunch campaign", marking its first above-the-line push in half a decade.

Havas London and its client plan to reposition Ryvita away from its image as a dieting brand, which was epitomised with its long-running association with fitness celebrity and TV presenter Davina McCall. That relationship has ceased.

Ryvita had been using McCall on its YouTube channel in the past few years, and also ran a Feel Good Live event featuring her in February this year.

In a departure from that approach, Ryvita will seek to drive "cultural and emotional connections with a much broader audience", the agency said.

Since parting ways with Creature in 2017 – following a review that appeared inconclusive – Ryvita has handed its largely digital-focused marketing in-house.

Nikki Wilkinson, Ryvita's senior communications and digital manager, said: "We're so excited to formally appoint Havas ahead of what is a big moment for the Ryvita brand. Together, our ambition is to build on the category and product growth experienced during the pandemic to create a modern, confident, culturally relevant brand for all occasions and more consumers."

Jennifer Black, Havas London's managing director, added: "Ryvita is a properly iconic British brand, and we are incredibly excited to be working with them.

"The past month has been way more comprehensive a process than your typical pitch, with transparency, openness and trust built into the heart of our relationship from the off. I would say we can't wait to get started, but of course we already have."

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