Ad of the Day: Maxwell House Says Its Coffee Is Good, Not Great, and Means It

W+K takes aim at hype

In an age where you can find a Starbucks on every block and a trendy café frequented by coffee snobs who wouldn't be caught dead in a Starbucks on every other block, the task of making old-school home-brewed coffee appear even remotely cool would seem nearly impossible. And that, presumably, is why Maxwell House isn't even trying.

The 122-year-old, Kraft-owned brand is undergoing a major overhaul in its marketing strategy. But instead of attempting to remake itself into some sort of hip Starbucks alternative—"Hey millennials, these coffee grounds are turnt up!"—Maxwell House borrowed from its own classic "Good to the last drop" slogan to come up with a core message that its product is, well, good.

Seem a bit underwhelming? That's the point, according to the middle-aged everyman protagonist in a trio of TV spots. You see, he tells us, we've gotten so caught up in superlatives—"Awesome," "Amazing," "That's epic, bro"—that we've forgotten the merits of just being good.

"Good is setting a personal best before going for a world record," the Maxwell House man explains. "Good is swinging to get on base before swinging for a home run." And in case the viewer interprets this to mean that Maxwell House coffee maybe isn't so good, the man takes a sip of his steaming cup of joe at the end and begins to proclaim it to be "Great!" before stopping himself and reverting to the more on-message "Good."

A social media element includes a new Twitter handle, @AGoodCoffee, which spouts forth gems of wisdom such as "The good thing about Mondays is that if they didn't exist we'd all hate Tuesdays." But judging by the TV spots, the target audience here isn't the youth of America. It's their dads (and moms, presumably, although we have yet to see a woman make an appearance in the campaign).

So kudos to Maxwell House for accepting that instant coffee isn't going to be the next Skrillex, and instead settling for "good." We appreciate your honesty.


Client: Maxwell House

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy

Creative Directors: Eric Baldwin, Karl Lieberman

Copywriter: Matt Mulvey

Art Director: Lawrence Melilli

Producer: Shelley Eisner

Account Team: Ken Smith, Ryan Peterson

Business Affairs: Cindy Lewellen

Project Management: Shannon Hutchinson

Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples, Susan Hoffman, Mark Fitzloff

Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz

Production Company: MJZ

Director: Steve Ayson

Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson

Line Producer: Martha Davis

Director of Photography: Alwin Kuchler

Editing Company: Joint

Editor: Tommy Harden

Post Producer: Ryan Shanholtzer

Executive Post Producer: Patty Brebner

Visual Effects Company: The Mill

Visual Effects Supervisors: Tim Davies, Phil Crowe

Flame Artists: Billy Higgins, John Price

Visual Effects Producers: Dan Roberts, Sue Troyan

Titles, Graphics: WK Studio; The Mill

Music, Sound Company: Tonefarmer; 740 Sound

Composers: Ray Loewy/Jimmy Harned//  mnemonic – Dan Sammartano/Joe Spallina

Sound Designers: Rommel Molina, Scott Ganary

Producers: Liz Higgins, Tonefarmer; Jeff Martin, 740 Sound

Mix Company: Eleven

Mixer: Jeff Payne


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