Melitta breaks decade of silence with $1.8 million ‘me time’ message

After a 10-year hiatus, Toronto-based Melitta Canada felt - as its advertising suggests - it was 'time to indulge' in a new $1.8 million national marketing campaign. The bean brand hopes to extend the coffee cognoscenti spend trend to the supermarket.

After a 10-year hiatus, Toronto-based Melitta Canada felt – as its advertising suggests – it was ‘time to indulge’ in a new $1.8 million national marketing campaign. The bean brand hopes to extend the coffee cognoscenti spend trend to the supermarket.

‘The worldwide positioning is that Melitta is a taste indulgence,’ says Lynn Ridley, CD for JAN Kelley Marketing, Melitta’s Burlington, Ont.-based AOR. ‘In research we found that [coffee] time is an indulgent moment for women, given their hectic lifestyles.’

Targeted at women 25 to 40, the advertising, which launched earlier this month, is based on the notion of ‘me time.’ Since the first two letters of the word Melitta spell ‘Me,’ a siren red coffee mug emblazoned with the word is the central focus in print advertising.

But it’s the radio campaign that best conveys the personality of the brand. The spots feature a spokesperson internally referred to as ‘Mel’ who ‘personifies the drinker as they sit down to a cup,’ says Ridley. ‘She has a POV on just about everything, and she has a wry intelligence.’

According to Melitta president Bill Ivany, it was simply time to boost the company’s investment in marketing, especially since the consumer has become much more educated about coffee. Melitta’s Estate Blend, which is made with 100% Arabica beans, is considered a premium product, he says.

‘What we’re trying to say is you can enjoy some premium coffee at home,’ he says. ‘If people are prepared to drop two or three dollars a day on Starbucks coffee, then why wouldn’t they be prepared to spend an extra couple of dollars on a pack at the grocery store? The marketplace has changed.’

Another reason for the move is that Melitta spent the last three years revamping its operations internally, by refilling distribution voids, redesigning the packaging for its Estate Blend coffee (with the help of Toronto-based agency Shikatani Lacroix) and working with retail customers to improve on-shelf presentations. As a result, in 2002 the company enjoyed its highest sales volume in Canada in ten years, and its highest coffee tonnage volume since 1990. Thanks to these numbers and a business case suggesting it would double its market share within five years, Melitta Canada was able to convince its German headquarters to support the campaign.

The radio component will run for eight weeks in both spring and fall in the four major markets – Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal. Also included in the marketing mix are 10- and seven-second TV sponsorship billboards, a 15-second animated brand spot, and sponsorship of the W Network program Me, My House and I. Promotions include a contest to win a trip for two to Bermuda, while street sampling in key markets and FSI couponing will help drive trial.

Client: Melitta Canada

Agency: JAN Kelley Marketing

Creative Director: Lynn Ridley

Copywriter: Jill Haines

Art Director: Geoff Redwood

Associate Creative Director (Copywriter): Stew Farago

Director of Strategic Development: Lynn Longwill

Media Director: Carol Preston

Producer: Ian Thomas Productions