When Keurig, actor Hugh Jackman, and Jackman’s New York coffee house, Laughing Man, all partnered to promote both a documentary focused on fair trade coffee and a special fair trade K-cup, the message could have gotten lost in a blur of cross-promotion. However, careful social media planning ensured that consumers were never confused by Keurig and Laughing Man’s message.
After a recent trip to Ethiopia, actor Hugh Jackman was inspired by the struggles of a local coffee farmer named Dukale. His interactions with both the farmers and the coffee inspired him to open his own fair trade coffee shop, Laughing Man, in New York City. He also partnered with Keurig to create a fair trade K-Cup and promote a new documentary, Dukale’s Dream, which highlights the struggles of the farmer.
All of these partnerships led to the challenge of promoting the K-cup, the documentary, and Laughing Man, so to solve this Keurig and Jackman teamed up with Havas Worldwide to create a series of short videos and a highly targeted social media plan to promote them.
With a campaign that has so many moving parts, Keurig knew that a television campaign probably wouldn’t be enough to drive engagement for not one, but two, brands. So they turned to social, says Ross Fenderson, senior manager of global coffee for Keurig Green Mountain.
“We know that activating this [campaign] through social media will not have the immediacy of television, but we also believe that it is a more authentic and natural way to tell the story,” Fenderson says. “The Laughing Man story is so rich and unique that it is most effectively told through video, and social media is driven by community interaction through authentic storytelling. Over time, we believe that will result in deeper, stronger connections with our consumers.”
However, Havas Worldwide, the agency behind the campaign, knew that it could very easily become unclear what the videos were promoting if the message didn’t get directed to the correct users from the proper social channels.
“Right from the start, we knew this could get unwieldy. There are multiple layers of conversation going on with video, social and coffee. From the start we’ve been very cognizant that it was always going to be this intersection of three brands and we had to find that middle ground,” says Alla Gonopolsky, planning director at Havas Worldwide New York.
That “middle ground” was a three-pronged social media approach. First, the campaign ran targeted social media campaigns to deliver the short videos featuring Jackman to millennial Keurig owners who currently buy Keurig coffee products. These promoted Tweets and posts also linked to an exclusive ecommerce site where users could buy Laughing Man K-Cups, which aren’t available in stores.
Finally, the campaign sought to appeal to Hugh Jackman’s 5.56 million Twitter following to promote the project and Keurig’s microsite dedicated to both Dukale’s Dream and the special K-Cup offerings. And while it seems that the two audiences might be unrelated, Gonopolsky says, in the end, the broad campaign managed to focus on exactly the right users.
“It’s really great how the messages have come together,” Gonopolsky says. “The end of the story is that all these consumers are invited to vote with their dollars. The video and social are all connected, and the more people that know the story of Laughing Man, whether they’re Hugh Jackman fans or Keurig fans, the more consumers will be able to take part in the story.”
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