The Daly Show

For every “Carson Daly in Your Gas Tank” Web page, there’s another with a title like “Bring Me the Head of Carson Daly” or “Thoughts on Kicking Carson Daly in the Junk.” He’s a bit polarizing like that. For the most part, the folks at Mr. Coffee, who hired the 29-year-old Californian for their new youth-focused ad campaign, tend to blubber like a preteen about him. But what if he gets caught buddying up to the competition?

“He’s the ambassador of what’s hip and cool,” says Alejandro Peña, vp of marketing for Mr. Coffee, which is celebrating its 30th birthday by getting Daly and Olympic snowboarder Chris Klug to show the TRL kids that this isn’t “your mother’s or your grandmother’s coffee maker.” In the ad here, Daly is “relaxing and having his moment” with his coffee, says Peña. The headline claims: “When Carson Daly takes a break from music, it’s for his favorite grind.”

Hmm. But whose grind, exactly? Shoptalk happened to be at a recent taping of Daly’s late-night NBC talk show, Last Call, and noticed that Carson was drinking—gulp—from a Starbucks cup! “Was he really?” Peña says. “Oh, that isn’t good.”

Peña says the agreement with Daly doesn’t require him to drink only Mr. Coffee-brewed cups in public, so this isn’t “like Britney drinking Coke.” And the brand’s new tagline—”How you enjoy your Mr. Coffee is up to you”