Melitta, a privately held coffee maker, is launching its biggest campaign ever to promote a new line of European gourmet coffee products.
The effort, which begins today, advertises Melitta's new Cafe Collection via print and TV ads touting the line’s heritage. One spot shows a waiter walking with a cup of freshly brewed Melitta coffee past the Eiffel Tower, into a taxi, onto a plane and into the home of a U.S consumer, where he then serves the coffee to “the lady of the house.” The campaign aims to drive home the message of “a flavor of Europe in every cup,” said Chris Hillman, vp-marketing for Melitta’s U.S. division. (The Melitta Group of Minden, in Germany, is the parent company.) Agencies Outer National and FKQ handled creative and production duties.
Melitta is also running ads in magazines including Food & Wine, Town & Country, Real Simple, Newsweek and Time. Ads highlight the collection’s six varieties. There is a medium and dark roast, a combination of light and dark, decaffeinated and a Hazelnut Crème Brulee and Parisian Vanilla flavored coffee. An 11-ounce bag sells for $5.99. Retailers in the Philadelphia metropolitan area are now carrying it. A national rollout will soon follow, beginning with major markets located in the Northeast.
Along with the campaign, Melitta has introduced new packaging. The coffee maker previously marketed its products using color-coded cans. The packaging has been revamped to include features such as an easy-open lid, color-coded bands to distinguish roast varieties, and the Melitta logo against a red background.
Cafe Collection marks the company’s first new product introduction in several years, as previous efforts consisted mainly of line extensions. In addition to selling coffee makers and filters, Melitta’s other products include Whole Harvest Estate Coffees and the Dessert Collection.
Cafe Collection will be available in bagged form only, as it’s appealing to the “premium segment,” Hillman said, adding that demand for this category of coffee is growing in the U.S. Despite the availability of gourmet brands, no other brand carries the credibility that Melitta has (of a "European brand"), said Hillman.
Melitta is launching the campaign with an initial “seven figure” spend. Over the next few years, media expenditure will hit the “eight figure” mark, Hillman said.
The brand has spent very little on U.S. advertising in the last two years. Its 2008 measured media outlay was $600,000—the same as the year prior—and it spent $100,000 advertising its coffee products through July of this year, per Nielsen. (Figures do not include online spend.)
Melitta is also betting on the value-driven mindset of consumers. At $5.99 per bag, Cafe Collection is a bargain compared to gourmet coffees that sell for much higher, Hillman noted. He added that as coffee drinkers cut back on Starbucks and others, the trade down presents another opportunity.