Nescafe adds variety to at-home coffee

The brand moves beyond the "instant" label with new campaigns capitalizing on consumers making more drinks themselves.

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For some, coffee is more than just a beverage that helps them kick-start their day. Some turn to coffee to relax, unwind and have a little “me time,” looking to indulge in crafted, specialty cups of java.

According to Carm DaSilva, marketing director for beverages at Nestle Canada, Nescafé had a product range that was perfectly suited for that. It launched instant specialty drinks like lattes, cappuccinos and mochas under its Gold brand about three years ago. But Nescafé didn’t put a lot of focus on the Gold brand at the time, DaSilva says, and there was little customer awareness.

“When we actually showed them the product and they saw it, they couldn’t believe how fast and easy it was to get an authentic cappuccino or latte,” DaSilva says. She adds that Nescafé knew specialty coffee was growing in the out-of-home segment and that there was an opportunity here. “Out-of-home shops have been meeting that need for a special, relaxing ‘me time.’ But there are times when consumers don’t want to leave the comfort of their home.”

Nescafé’s Gold brand will be highlighted as one of two campaigns the coffee brand is launching this month. One of the spots shows  a barista serving a woman a cappuccino, before revealing them to be a couple who made the beverage in their own home.

DaSilva says part of the objective for the Gold campaign is to build awareness for the fact that there are specialty beverages beyond the basic cup of instant coffee, showing people they can add an upscale “specialty coffee occasion” to their week through a format that is easy to make at home.

The second campaign features Nescafé’s Rich brand – the first work showing the product line’s shift from instant to single serve coffee. The spot shows a man visiting a friend, getting him to return the single-serve coffee maker he lent out, as the Nescafé instant coffee he is a fan of is now available in pods.

DaSilva describes Nescafé Gold as being slightly more indulgent than a quick morning cup of coffee. Nescafé Rich instant coffee, meanwhile, has often been associated with “consistency, quality and convenience,” DaSilva says. With more convenience-focused drinkers increasingly turning to other formats, she says it made sense to extend the brand into single serve. The strategy behind the Rich campaign is for Nescafé to make it apparent that it’s a coffee brand, not just an “instant” coffee brand.

Despite COVID-19 forcing consumers to drink most, if not all, of their coffee at home, DaSilva says the pandemic didn’t have a huge impact on the strategy for the campaigns. While it may have made them more relevant, she says in-home coffee consumption had already been trending upwards.

One impact the pandemic has had is that in-store displays, activations and sampling for the products had to be cancelled, and replaced with an at-home sampling program. Given the reaction consumers have when trying the products for the first time – experience taste and craft not typically associated with instant coffee – driving trial is an important goal of both campaigns.

Millennials and out-of-home consumers who enjoy an espresso-based beverage are the target for Nescafé’s Gold specialty products, whereas the Rich campaign is attempting to bring in consumers who already use single-serve coffee makers.

The Nescafé Gold Specialty campaign will appear on TV, digital video, social media and Amazon until July 5. The creative for Rich will run on national TV in Canada from May 25 until July 19. Both campaigns were led by Colorado-based agency WorkInProgess.