Video: Kenco “Coffee vs Gangs” TV advert
The company claims the “Coffee vs Gangs Project” is a step change in the brand’s long-running UK communications platform around ethical coffee farming and sustainability. Kenco’s campaign will highlight the young people it is supporting to become business entrepreneurs in Honduras, that it otherwise says would have fallen into a life of crime.
It is documenting the 11-month scheme through a flurry of content, spanning TV, digital and eventually editorial with a media partner. A JWT-created advert, which launches next week (18 August), depicts a young Honduran choosing coffee farming over criminal activity through a mix of live action and animated tattoos, the central representation of gang culture in Central America, the company says.
The initiative aims to inject “authenticity” into Kenco’s marketing, which the business claims was sometimes viewed by consumers as a “hygiene factor that that made no real difference to perceptions of the brand”.
Online videos extend the ethical push by charting the trials and tribulations of the 20 young people as they work with Kenco to develop their business ideas, while separate features will detail life in Honduras. The films will be targeted based on consumers’ YouTube viewing habits as well as through content distribution platform Outbrain to ensure they are viewed on the preferred sites of the brand’s demographic.
“Driving hard-hitting, strong emotional engagement at a massive scale is key to the success of the campaign”, says Emad Nadim, brand manager at Kenco. “It’s why we’ve invested a lot creating a content funnel that will help us identify those people most likely to engage with our content in an environment that’s familiar to them rather than trying to force them to do everything from a brand site.”
Facebook will host the second tier of the campaign, representing an overhaul to Kenco’s approach to social media. Videos alongside ongoing stories of the young entrepreneurs will be hosted on the social network that will also push followers back to a blog. The changes are indicative of a shift that will see Facebook hosting a smaller number of posts with increased media spend to ensure more people see them.
Kenco teased the marketing revamp earlier this year when it launched a loyalty scheme created by Proximity London. While advertising will not promote the scheme, the company plans to push it to those fans wanting to make a difference beyond just purchasing coffee. This could include crowdfunding-style initiatives with members backing the business plans of the “Coffee vs Gangs Project” participants.
Nadim hopes the change “wakes” Kenco up from the “coffee coma” affecting the category, whereby purchases are driven by price rather than brand.
“The aim is to make consumers realise that by not doing much more than picking up the right kind of coffee that they are making a difference. It’s about showing Kenco as a low cost way of making a difference. While we’ve always had a leadership position around ethics, we haven’t spoken about it actively as a brand because we’ve focused on innovation”, he adds.
Kenco’s update comes as Mondelez divests its coffee brands to create a stand-alone joint venture with D.E Master Blenders. Nadim declined to comment on how Kenco could be affected by the venture, however, any new business would continue to support its “Coffee Made happy” sustainability drive and consequently continue to push Kenco’s ethics credentials.