The 4 best coffee advertising campaigns – and why they work
If there’s a beverage you can find in most households, it’s coffee. ☕ Whether it’s instant, a latte, cold brew, or some other form, an overwhelming majority of global consumers regularly consume this popular beverage in one way or another. In fact, three-quarters of American adults drink coffee, with over half drinking a cup of joe daily.
It’s also a booming industry: the U.S. has the highest coffee market revenue, clocking in at $8.1 billion USD a year, while Australia comes in at $5.8 billion USD. Globally, the revenue is equal to $495 billion.
The same can be seen across the globe: our research at Tracksuit shows that in New Zealand, 3.3 million consumers bought coffee in the last three months. In Australia, it’s 17.5 million, while in the United Kingdom, it’s 45.4 million.
Advertising is also significant for coffee companies. Starbucks spent $416.7 million in advertising in the 2022 fiscal year. And while smaller companies are unlikely to spend anywhere near the amount Starbucks spends, there’s a reason coffee companies will dedicate a significant amount of time, effort, and revenue towards advertising.
That’s because it’s a high-frequency purchase – industry data shows that 7 out of 10 Americans drink coffee weekly, with over half drinking daily. (Meanwhile, Australians consume 1.91 kilograms of coffee each year, per person).
It’s also a relatively cheap product, with hundreds of companies selling their own brand of coffee — meaning consumers are spoiled for choice. Brands, on the other hand, face a competitive landscape, which means ensuring brand awareness can be a tricky feat.
While brand tracking is a significant undertaking, it’s absolutely an essential one. Research by TRA shows that if your brand is part of the options your consumer is considering, you're 6 to 10 times more likely to be chosen. Of course, the only way that will happen is if they’re aware of your product in the first place.
Enter coffee advertising.
If you want to make a lasting impression, your brand needs to harness the power of creating compelling coffee advertising campaigns over an extended period to ensure true brand salience. But how do you craft the perfect coffee commercial that sticks?
In this article, we’ll take a look at our top 3 favorite coffee advertisements to get you started on crafting that perfect coffee ad so you can get in control of your coffee brand management.
Allpress Espresso’s “Iconic Coffee, Local Flavor” coffee campaign
Allpress Espresso is a textbook example of a brand doing everything right. It’s got a strong brand identity that’s reflected across all its touch points: socials, packaging, OOH advertising, and brand assets are all closely aligned with its brand palette, ensuring cohesive consistency. If a consumer sees the rich browns and deep golds paired with clean typography, they’ll instantly associate it with the Allpress Espresso brand.
But beyond being consistent, it’s also an esthetically pleasing color palette. Allpress’ palate is likely to bring up associations with warm coffee, eliciting a positive emotional response from viewers.
But what about the coffee poster itself? It’s a brilliant advertisement for coffee because it makes it deeply personal. Allpress Espresso does an excellent job of humanizing its brand by bringing its partners to the forefront and moving the brand to the backseat. It’s a subtle move that’s all the more impactful in the long run.
Instead of splashing the brand’s name across in the most oversized lettering, Allpress Espresso chooses to focus on Grace, the owner of one of the company’s locations. Her name is front and center, and the portrait is an easy, unforced pose that looks natural and warm. In her quote, Allpress Espresso isn’t mentioned by name, which reads more authentically. It’s the same for the other coffee ads in the campaign, with tasteful photos of real people that make the Allpress Espresso brand what it is.
In short, the coffee company has substantial brand assets (like the logo, social media, tone of voice, and products) and remains consistent across all marketing channels. And with multiple ads as part of the campaign, Allpress is able to guarantee long-term results to stay top of mind for when consumers are ready to purchase their next coffee. That’s marketing done right.
Atlas Coffee Club’s comparison ads
The coffee market is incredibly competitive, and there’s no shortage of coffee brands and services to choose from. To stand out, the coffee subscription box company Atlas Coffee Club takes on the competition head on.
The brand runs a number of social ads to capture the attention of coffee brand switchers or those who are considering their options.
Check out this example below, which features an article on why Nespresso owners are choosing Atlas’s pods. The ad does a good job highlighting the unique value of the brand’s coffee pods, positioning Atlas as a great choice for consumers who want to switch up their coffee experience.
Here’s another ad, featuring a table showing how Atlas Coffee Club compares with regular, store-bought coffee.
Both of these ads do a good job at demonstrating the advantages of subscribing to Atlas Coffee Club over other coffee options. They emphasize Atlas' value propositions — including variety, convenience, and personalization. Clicking through these ads takes you to a page sprinkled with social proof, to give shoppers even more confidence in their purchase.
Flight Coffee’s Oat Milk Flat White advertisement
Flight Coffee is an ethically traded coffee company. It's focused on providing the best impact possible in the coffee industry while educating its target audience on all things coffee. Director Nick Clark says the business went through a rebrand in 2012 and its pastel yellow color palette and cursive script is inspired by vintage world war planes, while the lightning bolts in the logo represent the energy created from its coffee.
For the summer, the company launched Oat Milk Flat White cans, and the above post (a GIF) was part of their social campaign.
“We released the oat milk coffee in a can just before Christmas,” Nick says. “We wanted to explore different ways for people to enjoy coffee, and make a great coffee super simple for anyone at any time. With the oat flat white cans, you can crack it open and it’s going to be delicious wherever you have it. It’s perfect for summer, as you can pop it in the chilly bin and take it with you to the beach.”
Werk agency is behind the content for the Flight Coffee brand, including the above post. Since the full post is a video, it earns instant points by adapting to the updated Instagram algorithm, which favors video content over images. While it's more work for brands, it's an essential step in the coffee advertising process to stay ahead of other competitors (we've discussed benchmarking yourself at length in our Competitor Audit Guide).
On to the actual content: the copy keeps it real and lets people know that there's been delays in deliveries, but they'll be shipping them out as soon as possible.
Then, Flight Coffee quickly lets its Instagram followers know that the Oat Milk Flat White is now available for pre-order, which doesn't come across as too salesy or demanding. Top it off with a couple of bright, colorful emojis, and that's all the copy the ad needs.
The video allows users to get a quick look at the packaging, which provides a useful impression of what they'll be getting, as well as and a real-life use case of the drinks being drunk out in the sunshine while sunbathing. This helps make the product feel more tangible, all in just a few seconds.
One thing to note: this coffee ad is just part of the company's Oat Milk Flat White social campaign. Other elements of the campaign include photoshoots of the flat white, GIFs, and user-generated content (UGC).
The latter is particularly important for brands to have, especially for those with smaller budgets or social campaigns. That's because brand evangelists are a powerful way to help build your brand authenticity. According to Nielsen, 83% of consumers trust word of mouth, while two-thirds trust online consumer opinions. If your brand isn't tapping into this powerful form of marketing, it's time to do so now.
In Flight Coffee's case, the company uses fun UGC from other stores that tagged its account, and even one from a consumer pouring the flat white over their coffee. It's an easy way to grab users' attention and potentially convert them into customers, often for little or no cost.
But what about once the campaign is over? In a way, it never is. Flight Coffee stored all social elements of the campaign as a Highlight on its Instagram profile. This way, new Instagram followers can access their campaign as soon as they follow the brand, even if it took place months ago.
Coffee Supreme’s merchandise
Although it seems logical for a coffee company to focus on advertising its coffee drinks, there’s another subtle form of advertisement that coffee companies can utilize: merchandise.
Coffee Supreme is a roaster with a mission of “better coffee for all.” Its brand is focused on high-quality, ethically-sourced coffee, even if it means slightly higher prices. Coffee Supreme is a very human-centric brand, focused on the people who help cultivate its coffee, while also organizing community events.
Although Coffee Supreme also has social, digital, and video ads like the ones we looked at earlier, let’s instead look at the brand’s creative coffee merchandise.
Coffee Supreme offers a wide array of products for consumers to purchase, such as key rings, hats, jackets, pens, and hoodies, meaning there’s bound to be a product for everyone. But what’s the main advantage of using merchandise for your brand?
Branded merchandise is a sure-fire way to supercharge your brand recognition. Whenever a consumer has a sip of coffee from your mug, buys some groceries using your tote bag, or slips on your socks, they’ll have a visceral touchpoint with your brand. In other words, it ensures you stay top of mind, making it extremely cost-effective marketing.
Even better, chances are high that your consumers will use their products in public, meaning that people around them will come into contact with your brand, which can further boost your brand recognition.
That said, it’s not as simple as just slapping your logo onto a product and selling it for a high markup. What Coffee Supreme does well is it designs beautiful products that are aligned with its overall mission of doing good. Coffee Supreme’s postcards are printed locally, featuring different Coffee Supreme locations, while the tote bag is made entirely from Fairtrade certified organic cotton. This way, consumers can feel confident that they’re supporting a good cause.
Finally, the designs are all gorgeous. Coffee Supreme doesn’t just add its logo to each product: the company creates slight variations all aligned with its overall brand identity while keeping true to its color palette.
By making it an esthetically pleasing product, Coffee Supreme helps ensure that purchasers will actually enjoy using the product, which will help improve their brand salience over time, all while improving the lives of their users. A win-win for all.
The importance of brand research and tracking
It may seem hard to start improving your coffee brand’s health, but hopefully these creative coffee ads have helped inspire you so you can take actionable steps towards better brand recognition. But how can you actually determine that your brand marketing activities are paying off?
No matter how long you’ve been in the brand management game, it can be difficult to quantitatively determine that you’re improving your brand equity with deep insights. Yes, you’ve put in the hard work to distinguish your coffee brand from your competitors. But how is it resonating with your target audience? How can you improve on your next coffee advertisement? Luckily, you don’t need to leave it up to guesswork.
The best way to determine if your brand management is paying off is through in-depth brand research and tracking, and that's our expertise. Tracksuit provides powerful, always-on brand tracking for over 1300 brands, allowing them to keep their finger on the pulse of their brand. At just a fraction of the cost of traditional brand tracking, it’s easy for smaller or growing companies to benefit from enterprise-level tracking without the costly prices.
Tracksuit surveys thousands of real-life people from around the world, so you can get visibility into what your consumers and target audience think about your brand. No more wondering or hypothesizing, just data beautifully visualized in our dashboard.
All you need to do is fill out a questionnaire and we’ll do all the hard work, ensuring you’ll have powerful brand insights in just 30 days. That’s right: supercharging your coffee company’s growth can be that easy. Good luck!