What’s going on in Sudbury?

Coffee Mate is at the centre of an "incident" that changed many people's coffee-drinking habits.

There’s a mystery afoot in Sudbury, and Nestlé’s Coffee Mate is at the centre of it.

A pair of brief, cryptic spots began airing on TV and online recently, featuring two people with odd, minor injuries explaining how ever since an unexplained “incident” at a trailer park in Sudbury, they’ve only liked their coffee rich and creamy (using Coffee Mate, of course).

Around the same time, a “Sudbury Incident” Instagram account launched, where a “documentarian” named Adam is capturing his trip to Sudbury to investigate the incident after seeing the spots himself.


Both the videos and Instagram account are part of a broader, long-term campaign by MacLaren McCann for the non-dairy coffee creamer. A great deal of content has been created for the campaign, and more spots and Instagram posts will be rolled out in the coming weeks and into the fall, slowly but surely shedding more light on the mystery.

Ryan Saunders, director of coffee and beverages at Nestle Canada, says the mystery element is also an effort to drive better awareness and trial by illuminating the “mystery” many people feel towards Coffee Mate – especially younger coffee drinkers, who are forming their coffee-drinking habits but may be unsure what the product is or what it offers.

“We know there’s a business opportunity in this category and with Coffee Mate,” Saunders says. “When we talk to young people, they weren’t seeking it out before, but when they actually try it, it really delivers and surprises them. So instead of hitting people over the head and pushing benefit messages, this campaign is trying pull them in with a story that encourages them to try Coffee Mate.”