Four 15-Second Spots Challenge Consumers to Taste the Difference

Emily Bryson York reports at AdAge that:

Starbucks aired the first creative for its Via Ready Brew during the season premiere of “Saturday Night Live” last night. Four 15-second spots from agency BBDO, New York, challenged consumers to a taste test at its cafes this week, to discern the difference between its much-lauded instant product and the Starbucks house brew.

The company wouldn’t confirm details about the upcoming national advertising campaign for Via, other than the official launch date, this Sept. 29. An executive familiar with the matter cautioned that “SNL” creative may not reflect the look and feel of the upcoming campaign. The first spots depict groups of people — such as those who look like their dogs, and a jockey, rabbi and a priest walking into a bar — who can’t tell the difference between the coffees.

During the company’s third-quarter earnings call in July, Mr. Schultz described the Via campaign as one that would be a significant investment for the chain, which dramatically under-spends its peers. “We are going to create a very creative campaign that will be different than what we’ve done to date,” he said, adding that the brand “will take advantage of the social media that we have become very good at as well as traditional levels of media.”

“SNL” is now an established broadcast vehicle of choice for Starbucks, which runs TV ads rarely. The chain ran its first TV ad in nearly a year just before the November election, offering a free coffee to anyone who voted. The offer was later amended to include all Americans. (Freebies for voters, it turns out, are illegal.) It has since used TV only sparingly, to promote its partnership with RED, and to encourage volunteerism.

Read more at: AdAge