Carmichael Captures Caribou

Caribou Coffee in Minneapolis has turned to Carmichael Lynch to promote its growing chain of rustic-themed coffee shops.
Seeking an agency closer to its home than incumbent 360 in Atlanta, Caribou launched a review that came down to CL and Campbell Mithun Esty, both in Minneapolis, and TBWA Chiat/Day’s office in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. The process lasted three months.
The agency’s work will consist largely of store-opening promotions, direct mail and print, said Barry Judge, director of marketing at Caribou. A store’s success in the crowded cafe market often hinges on promotions and advertising in its neighborhood, Judge said.
Judge declined to reveal spending, most of which is placed in unmeasured media. Only $48,000 showed up in measured spending for 1996 by Competitive Media Reporting.
Caribou was started about four years ago. The company now has 90 stores in various cities, including Minneapolis, its largest market with 35 stores. There are also stores in Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C., as well as Detroit and Cleveland, Judge said.
The chain’s shops feature a rustic, lodgelike look designed for comfort. Some shops have couches and a fireplace. A wide line of coffee and specialty drinks are sold, including smoothies and espresso mixes dubbed “Wild Drinks.”
Advertising has been using the tagline, “Life is short, stay awake,” Judge said. It probably will be re-evaluated, he said.