Coffee maker De’Longhi signs Brad Pitt to step up awareness

Italian brand De’Longhi is launching its “largest ever campaign” as it looks to double the premium coffee machine market in the UK.

Coffee machine maker De’Longhi has unveiled Hollywood actor Brad Pitt as its brand ambassador as it looks to boost awareness and drive growth at the premium end of the category.

The global ‘Something Perfetto’ campaign launches today, with the TV commercial debuting in the UK tonight during the World Cup qualifier between England and Hungary.

The ad shows Pitt riding his motorbike in Los Angeles to pick up a bag of specially roasted coffee beans from an independent store, before taking a scenic route home. He’s then seen brewing his coffee before it switches to a close up of the actor enjoying his efforts, as the brand looks to showcase the quality of a De’Longhi device.

Pitt follows in the footsteps of his Ocean’s Eleven co-star George Clooney who has been the face of rival coffee machine brand Nespresso since 2006.

De’Longhi marketing director Alex Pickering says the UK coffee market is “not as mature” as others in Europe leaving plenty of space for the brand to grow.

“We see the UK as a really high potential market for bean-to-cup coffee machines as the awareness levels have been very low in the UK, as has household penetration,” he tells Marketing Week. “But the desire for great tasting coffee is greater than ever before, so we felt that now is the right time to accelerate awareness and household penetration.”

The whole point of us investing in media and a strong brand ambassador like Brad right now is to effectively speed up growth.

Alex Pickering, De’Longhi

Pickering says UK coffee drinkers have matured under lockdown, with coffee shops shuttering and consumers being forced to stay at home. Citing GfK data, the marketing director notes the coffee machine market grew 27% last year, which is double the growth rate of 2019.

A key target for the Italian brand – currently the largest player in the UK with 32.4% share – is to contribute to the growth of the overall coffee machine market in the region, which it estimates to be worth around £129m.

Although restrictions are easing and people are returning to the office, working from home is far more prevalent than pre-pandemic and De’Longhi believes the adoption of hybrid working patterns will continue to boost the demand for quality coffee at home.

“We don’t see the coffee machine market slowing down at all. The whole point of us investing in media and a strong brand ambassador like Brad right now is to effectively speed up growth,” says Pickering.

He is keen to increase the size of the premium end of the market in particular.

“I would like the beans-to-cup coffee machine market to double in size from £33m. I would love us to have boosted the beans-to-cup market because I’m confident in our potential in penetrating UK households,” he adds.

The campaign, which is being backed by a £4m budget in the UK alone, will also run on video-on-demand, social, in-store point-of-sale, PR events, influencer marketing, digital media and out of home.

As well as brand awareness, Pickering will also be measuring the success of the campaign on purchase intent, appeal and penetration of the overall market into UK homes.

Quality perceptions

The campaign ties in with the brand’s wider strategy of linking the world of coffee machines with quality beans.

To do this De’Longhi has partnered with several small coffee producers and acted as an ecommerce store for independent roasters through its De’Longhi Coffee Lounge, which was opened during lockdown.

“We want to democratise great coffee, and we want to bring the world of machines and beans together, and our wider strategy is also to help consumers navigate different types of coffee beans,” he says.

“It’s really about bringing the world of machines and beans together. Ultimately, they both go hand in hand, which is certainly why we are increasing our investment in media for our largest ever campaign.”


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