Smucker’s 1850 coffee is breaking news

Who: Smucker Foods of Canada, with Leo Burnett for strategy and creative, and Spark Foundry for media.

What: The first Canadian advertising for the food company’s premium coffee brand, 1850.

When & Where: The ad just launched and will run until the end of April on TV and online.

Why:  In the past, Smucker has treated 1850 coffee as a standalone brand in both Canada and the U.S., leading to a North American advertising approach, said Daniel Zimmerman, group account director at Leo Burnett.

However, it recently decided to fold the 1850 brand into the Folgers banner in the U.S., while keeping it as a standalone brand in Canada. “So we needed new creative for Canada that fit with how we were moving forward with the brand,” said Zimmerman.

As a premium brand in a crowded market, Smucker’s has put its marketing focus on taste since launching in 2018, said Smucker’s vice-president of marketing, Adam Zitney. “Most recently, the pandemic has created new interest in the packaged coffee category as more consumers are brewing coffee at home,” said Zitney. “With these new trends, we wanted a new effort that was even more focused on taste to help continue building trial.”

How: The idea behind the 15-second ad is to show how 1850 taste is so good it’s almost show-stopping, with a TV news anchor and a weather person unable to focus on their broadcast because they are so distracted by the taste. “1850 coffee. Taste that takes over,” says a voiceover.

“We loved the idea that a great sip of coffee can take you over and stop you in your tracks, and wanted to see just how far it could go,” said Steve Persico, co-chief creative officer at Leo Burnett Toronto, in a release. “And where this spot ends is just the beginning. A campaign that’s all about taking over, it’s a fantastic place for a brand to build from.”

Zitney said that in addition to the ad, Smuckers is executing some retail marketing tactics aimed at driving conversion both in brick-and-mortar and online, and is launching a new Colombian variety with a QR code so consumers can trace the coffee beans from their point of origin.

And we quote: “In a highly saturated market like the coffee industry, new brands have to be disruptive to stand out… We know our coffee tastes great, but we needed something that will get noticed and elicit trial. This execution celebrates that 1850 has a taste you just can’t ignore, regardless of the circumstance.” — Adam Zitney, Smucker’s VP of marketing.

David Brown