NESCAFE HELPS COMMUTERS WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE

NESCAFE HELPS COMMUTERS WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE

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When it comes to making a mark with PR and marketing stunts, simplicity can often be the key. Taking advantage of how busy and hectic our everyday lives have become, Nescafe took to the road crossings of Germany to create ‘instant connections’ between strangers.

While we’re all used to dropping our friends a text to keep in touch or emailing a colleague about an upcoming project, it can be easy to forget what we did before the virtual realm took over. So, in a bid to reach out to lonely commuters and city dwellers, the coffee giant went back to basics, using a traditional cup of Joe to get people talking to one another.

The idea was that people on either side of the road pressed a button on a secret coffee vending machine, which was disguised as a traffic signal box. However, only when they worked out that they had to ‘push together’ were they given a free cup of coffee. The advert, which was filmed in Berlin – one of the world’s loneliest cities, according to research – ends with the strapline, ‘It all starts with a Nescafe’.

The stunt generated 33 high fives, 285 waves, 839 smiles and ‘countless conversations’, according to Nescafe.

This campaign is a perfect example of how brands can play on consumers’ everyday habits to tap into a potentially new market. It’s nothing new that we’re a society that’s getting busier, with little time for ourselves – or our friends and family, for that matter. However, Nescafe’s stunt demonstrates how a simple premise, such as meeting strangers over a cup of coffee, can spark a spike in brand awareness and raise a smile or two in the process.

While it might not be feasible or logistically possible to stage such activity across all major cities, it would be interesting to see whether this type of stunt could be replicated in the UK; although, I have a feeling it could take more than a free cup of coffee to stop the commuters of Piccadilly Circus in their tracks!

@StephCureton