Smuckers breaks the news about 1850 premium coffee

A campaign for the challenger brand tries to stop audiences in their tracks just as much as a cup of its coffee would.

While it comes from a big company like Smuckers, the minds behind the 1850 line knows they’re challengers in the premium coffee space and would have to do something disruptive to get peoples’ attention.

Developed with agency partner Leo Burnett, the brand has launched a new spot designed to look like a breaking news bulletin cutting in to other ads. The news update is itself then disrupted by anchors and weather forecasters who interrupt their broadcast because they can’t get enough of 1850’s bold flavour.

According to analysis from Mordor Intelligence, Smuckers is among the top five companies globally in terms of share of the coffee market, which is expected to reach a CAGR of 4.28% between 2021 and 2026. But despite being among the leaders, the market is highly fragmented, with independent coffee shops and roasters making it a very competitive category. What’s more, those independent brands tend to skew more towards the premium segment, which is driving demand and growth, especially since the pandemic has given people the time to brew and appreciate a high-quality cup of coffee.

“We thought a lot about what separates the brand from the pack and what it could hang its hat on, and at the end it came down to the taste profile,” explains Danny Zimmerman, group account director at Leo Burnett Toronto. “But how could we show that to consumers in the creative? By having it stop people in their tracks, preventing them from doing anything else and forcing them to concentrate on the coffee.”

“We loved the idea that a great sip of coffee can take you over and stop you in your tracks,” says Steve Persico, the agency’s co-CCO, adding that the spot is “a fantastic place for a brand to build from.”

This is the first piece of creative developed for 1850 specifically for a Canadian audience. The brand had been using adapted work from the U.S., but recently, parent company Smuckers folded it into Folgers as a sub-brand south of the border, while it is remaining a standalone brand here, Zimmerman says.

The spot launched on Monday and is airing on TV and in pre-roll video. It will remain in market until April. Spark Media handled the buy.