The Hive named creative AOR for Astro

The Lactalis yogourt brand expects to increase its marketing spend to gain share and support product innovation.

Lactalis Canada selected The Hive as creative AOR for Astro Yogourt following a competitive agency review.

The Hive’s mandate is broad and will include work on a new platform for the Astro Original core brand. It will also include launching line extensions, strategic and communications planning, social content strategy and creative development, as well as work around Astro’s sustainability initiatives.

Incumbent agency DentsuBos (now known as Dentsumcgarrybowen) was not invited to pitch.

Simon Creet, partner and CCO at The Hive, tells strategy that the pitch finished just as COVID-19 was ramping up, and the agency has already hit the ground running, helping the CPG brand navigate some “fast messaging” around its operations and pride in their workers and partners continuing to get yogourt to stores.

According to Creet, the first big creative campaigns will likely be in market this fall. He says the agency isn’t currently adding staffing to accommodate the win, but says it will reevaluate its staffing needs down the road, when business truly opens up. He says the agency is still figuring out the exact scale of the assignment, but knows “Astro will be a sizable piece of business.” It joins a roster of clients that also includes Metro, Coca-Cola and Jack Daniel’s.

Burhan Khan, national marketing director for Lactalis Canada, says the company’s ambition is to gain share in the yogurt category with Astro, and marketing spend is expected to increase in line with that ambition. He says product innovation is going to be a particular focus coming out of the pandemic; in April, it had to put marketing for its new drinkable yogurt on hold.

“We are constantly developing new innovation platforms,” Khan says. “That is table stakes in yogurt, which is highly innovation driven.” He adds that it is important for its creative agency to match its culture and be fast paced to help roll out those innovations.