SPARK! newsletter

August 2017

The Start of the New Year ... is Now

Back-to-school season is the second biggest shopping season of the year touching 29 million households and accounting for $27 billion in sales in the U.S., according to a Deloitte survey. For all intents and purposes, though, fall is really the start of the year ahead given all the activity kicking off at this time. In addition to the back-to-school hoopla, many brands are diving into their strategic planning now – for the approaching holiday season as well as the entirety of 2018. This includes everything from establishing marketing budgets to developing concepts for product launches to identifying what seasonal opportunities (and challenges) lay ahead. Should you question the importance of advance planning, just consider what the oft-quoted Yogi Berra once said: “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going because you might not get there.” 

Michael A. Olguin, CEO

 Bonafide Provisions Retains Havas Formula

 Bonafide Provisions – the No. 1-selling organic, frozen bone broth in the U.S. and purveyor of drinkable nourishment – has tapped Havas Formula to help elevate awareness of the brand. The program will be anchored in a thought leadership campaign utilizing the company’s founders to tout their products’ incredible health benefits. Bonafide Provisions products are known for their strong appeal to the wellness-minded. As a result, the team will place a special emphasis on the founders’ clinical nutrition background to seed content around the profound benefits of Bonafide bone broth. The team will also help relaunch the brand’s latest innovation, Drinkable Veggies. The product recently received a Nexty Award, which recognizes the most progressive, innovative, inspiring and trustworthy products in the natural products industry.

 Spindrift’s ‘Farm-to-Can’ Concept Comes to Life 

To create an immersive, yet educational event surrounding Spindrift’s brand mission that would also set the stage for the anticipated launch of the brand’s new Strawberry flavor, Havas Formula NY successfully executed a “Summer Soiree” at the beautiful Blue Hill Stone Barns in upstate New York. Bringing the “farm-to-can” concept to life, the team played host to 19 media and influencers from top outlets such as BuzzFeed, Food Network Magazine, Tasting Table and POPSUGAR, taking them through a thoughtfully curated lunch menu paired with Spindrift flavors and mocktails. Attendees were invited to taste the variety of flavors while also getting the chance to speak with brand executives on site. To date, overall event efforts led to coverage in outlets including Forbes, epicurious and POPSUGAR

Guac Stop Tour Hits the Road

This summer, MegaMex Foods’ WHOLLY GUACAMOLE® brand hit the road with a three-month, “guac-focused” experience visiting major markets such as Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. The themed lounge, officially known as The Guac Stop, features a custom structure showcasing the brand’s Live Wholly™ philosophy through a hashtag-enabled vending machine, T-shirt screen printers, and lawn games all surrounding the main attraction – a customizable guacamole bar. Elements of the activation highlight local characteristics like market-specific guacamole recipes and T-shirt designs. In addition, consumers can enjoy daily “Happenings” such as iPhone photography classes, live music, flower crown making, and more. To help promote the stops, Havas Formula’s PR team has been driving media coverage in national and regional outlets including, Los Angeles Times, KNBC-TV/Los Angeles, and, generating more than 796 million impressions to date. 

TechCrunch Praises SlingStudio in Video Review

Following the launch of SlingStudio, a multi-camera video production and livestreaming platform created by Sling Media, Havas Formula LA secured an in-depth review on TechCrunch. In the five-minute video “Sling Studio makes multi-camera video production so damn easy,” Tito Hamze calls SlingStudio a game changer and raves about its ease of use, mobility and time-saving features. Hamze also touched on its livestreaming capabilities, indicating it was “amazing” and “clean.” To date, the video review has garnered more than 35 million impressions online.

‘Vanity Fair’ Expresses Love of KEVIN.MURPHY Products

The beauty department at Vanity Fair enlisted an editor to try out a KEVIN.MURPHY regimen, and the tester said she “Love! Love! Loved these products!” The article, which reached the publication’s online audience of 11.8 million, featured four products including the new SMOOTH.AGAIN WASH and RINSE anti frizz treatment. The editor described them as “completely and utterly nourishing without being heavy,” leaving her hair extremely smooth and shiny. The RE.STORE once-a-week cleansing-conditioning treatment also received rave reviews, as she described her hair as even softer after using it but still not weighed down. Lastly, the editor highly recommended SMOOTH.AGAIN for those looking for silky smooth hair.

Havas Formula Social Boosts Twitter Conversation for Panda Express

Broadway actor Ben Platt recently tweeted the hardest part of performing in “Dear Evan Hansen” is passing Panda Express every day on his way to the theatre and not going inside to eat. Identifying his tweet immediately, Havas Formula Social devised a plan to quickly respond, while remaining true to Panda Express’ brand guidelines. Bringing in actual lyrics from the show’s signature song, “Waving Through a Window,” the team invited Platt to not “be on the outside always looking in.” The conversation exploded. The actor retweeted our post and a host of celebrities commented – from Tony Award-winning lyricist Benj Pasek and Platt’s “Pitch Perfect” co-star Skylar Astin to YouTube sensation Tyler Oakley and New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult. By merging quick response with pop culture knowledge, we turned one simple tweet into a much larger conversation for Panda Express – making it the brand’s highest-performing tweet of all time with 725K impressions and 25K engagements. To extend PR value, we seeded Platt and cast members with Panda Express swag. Which goes to show: If your social team is truly listening, #youwillbefound.

Alexis Anderson Returns to Havas Formula as Associate VP

After starting off early in her career at Havas Formula in San Diego working on consumer, travel, technology and business-to-business clientele, Alexis Anderson has returned to the agency as an associate vice president in the B-to-B division. A seasoned strategist and creative thinker, Anderson spent the last seven-plus years at GroundFloor Media in Denver, where she oversaw accounts across a wide spectrum of industries from food and beverage to advocacy, healthcare and foundations. Over the course of her 13-year career, she has represented signature brands including Kashi Company, ConocoPhillips, Avid Technology, Pinkberry, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Popchips, and Qdoba, to name a few. In her new role, Anderson will oversee the strategic program execution of several key accounts while mentoring staff and supporting new business efforts.

 High-Tech Team Adds Firepower with Senior Hire Nick Lashinsky

With more than 15 years’ industry experience, including stints on agency and in-house communications teams, Nick Lashinsky has joined Havas Formula SD’s High-Tech team as account director. Throughout his career, Lashinsky has lent his expertise to clients across the corporate, energy, nonprofit, government, professional association, and sports industry sectors. An East Coast native, he honed his PR chops with positions at the National Guard Association of the U.S., Association of Water Technologies, and National Association of Home Builders. More recently, he led strategic communications planning and program execution for clients while at Buffalo Communications, Potomac Communications Group and mdg. At Havas Formula, Lashinsky leads account teams to ensure optimal results, participates in program development, and provides coaching and direction to junior team members.

Jennifer Brough Advances to Associate Director

Havas Formula LA is pleased to announce that Jennifer Brough has been promoted to associate director. For the past five years, Brough has been a rock for the team. Her growth is the direct result of her amazing attitude, work ethic and personal drive to be the best she can be each and every day. Her constant eye on the big picture and commitment to exceptional client service have been critical in delivering against the agency’s promise to serve as a strategic partner that challenges its clients and always brings a POV to the table. Alongside her daily contributions, she has been instrumental in leading the Panda Express account since January 2016. In addition to managing her current stable of clients, which also includes Sling Media, Immotor and Dunkin’ Donuts, in her new role Brough will play a bigger part supporting the LA division’s new business efforts. 

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