Diedrich Coffee Brings People Together

LOS ANGELES Independent Black Lab has bowed a TV campaign for Diedrich Coffee, the agency said. The effort marks the Southern California chain’s first foray into television advertising.

Launched this week, three spots are “based on truisms, real stories from clients and employees” of the Irvine, Calif.-based company, said Holland Henton, co-president and chief creative officer at the Venice, Calif., agency. “The spots really are symbols of the friendships, relationships between Diedrich baristas and consumers.”

In the 30-second “Diedrich Signal,” an espresso-slinging employee catches the eye of a regular customer from across the crowded shop. Backed by a funky, ’70s spy movie-inspired soundtrack, the barista and customer trade furtive gestures and clandestine nods. As the Diedrich loyalist is wordlessly delivered her perfect cup, accompanying voiceover and text—displayed over a background of roasted beans—inform, “We know you, like we know our coffee.”

The spots conclude as the coffee-bean bed slips away to reveal Diedrich’s logo and “Not so big” tag, the latter spelled out in bean letters.

The ads, created entirely in-house at Black Lab by a team including director Henton, producer and editor Dean Mongan and associate creative director Ryan Gibson, feature both actors and actual shop baristas and customers “who go there everyday,” Henton said. The voiceovers, he added, were also done by a real-life “Diedrich lover.”

The spots are scheduled to rotate heavily through early 2006, according to Alexis Eldridge, senior director of marketing at Diedrich. A “highly targeted” media buy consists mostly of regional cable in Orange County, Calif., where the majority of Diedrich’s 32 sites are located, she said. Media is handled by independent Greenstripe, Newport Beach, Calif.

In addition, Black Lab partnered with Diedrich’s point-of-purchase agency, Post-Agency Advertising of Newport Beach, Calif., to transition the TV concepts into in-store materials.

It was a “natural extension” of the campaign, Henton explained, to produce step-by-step p-o-p guides showcasing the spots’ Diedrich signals, secret handshake and shuffle dance. “We may even come up with our own Diedrich language,” he said.

According to agency president Paige Gillingwater, Black Lab began working with the client in April. The shop was hired to offer strategic planning and research assistance for sibling brand Gloria Jeans coffee, Gillingwater said.

Diedrich Coffee Corp. spent $75,000 on advertising in 2004, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus, most of which was at p-o-p. A current campaign spend was not available.