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From: Brazil, by Lew’Lara\TBWA

In the heartland of coffee, the locals have come to believe that the best quality, i.e. freshest coffee is only available at coffee shops. To prove otherwise and make a point that even packaged coffee in supermarkets can be fresh, the brand Café Pele innovated by partnering with a daily newspaper. The agency wrapped 5,000 vacuum packs of coffee with the front page of the newspaper and put them on the shelves of major supermarkets of Sao Paulo by 8 am. Promotional packs were delivered along with some newspaper copies to homes and in supermarkets, the product was placed right next to newspaper shelves.

Marketing innovations these days are done in two ways – one, pump a lot of money to create an electronic/technological wonder that makes news for obvious reasons and gets you a trophy or two. Or secondly, in the lesser used one, you simply use the power of networking and persuasion to strike a partnership with another brand or institution to create a campaign. Café Pele did the latter, and is thus being lauded by ad gurus around the world, deservedly so.

It’s a common syndrome in urban markets that the supermarket consumer feels that packaged foods aren’t fresh. So what if you’re in one of the world’s biggest coffee growing regions, the urban elite will still feel that their old brand may just taste better at that neighbourhood ‘gourmet’ coffee shop. Of all marketing speed-breakers, the mind blocks in your TAs are the most difficult to scale.

Kudos to the agency then, for keeping the thinking so simple, it comes off as a stroke of brilliance. The freshest foods are wrapped in ‘yesterday’s’ newspapers across third world countries (ask any vada-pav eater in Mumbai this) and this same concept has been taken forward in a cool, organised way.

This unique partnership, which may have taken multiple meetings and promises from the brand to not ‘out’ any of the front page news through the night, was executed amazingly, I thought. To see your coffee packed in a newspaper itself is a clutter-breaker, but when you realise it’s the morning’s newspaper (the second-largest one no less!) BECAUSE it’s placed right next to the newspaper shelf, you cannot help but feel good.

Moreover, the vacuum-packed coffee packets were delivered along with the newspaper to further push the ‘fresh’ promise (to only a select neighbourhoods I guess) and that for sure made fans out of agnostic customers.

All this said, it was only an activation involving 5,000 packs of coffee on one day in one city, but it was enough for the brand to destruct the mind-block. It claims to have got massive traction on Facebook but I want to believe this one campaign will reap real profits for months to come. Sometimes, it’s totally fine to think in the box!

(To watch this commercial, enter ‘http:// bit.ly/May30ad’ in your browser)

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