Life Isn’t Fair, but At Least This Coffee Is, Say Comical Ads From 180 Amsterdam

Moyee's lighter approach to supporting local growers

180 Amsterdam's new European campaign for Moyee FairChain coffee might not be everyone's cup of tea.

It's an edgy brew flavored with wry wit, positioning the java brand as a caffeinated antidote to the inherent cruelty of life itself. Yes, human existence might be patently unfair. But Moyee claims its superior taste and equitable treatment of local growers provide some much-needed balance.

Consider: Rock stars. Even those of the aging, boney, burned-out variety, like the guy in the clip below, can lord it over the rest of us. "This man is hideous," the voiceover begins. "But he could have your wife. Or your daughter." That fetching fan at his side, we're told, "is someone's wife and daughter." Whoa, major drag. Facing such cosmic injustice, can anything perk up our spirits?

"A company that actually treats their coffee growers fairly is quite a serious thing, but with that comes the expectation to do something serious, or emotional," 180 executive creative director Dave Canning tells AdFreak. "We think using humor makes it stand out more, and therefore will be more memorable."

The next spot takes the "life's unfair" concept to apocalyptic heights. "Whether it's the inevitable heat-death of the universe, or a cataclysmic Earth-ending disaster, everything we've ever done will be gone," the narrator laments, clearly in need of the day's first cup. How, one wonders, will we ever find the strength to grind our way through the meaninglessness of it all?

"The contrasting of bad news/good news was funny to us," says Canning's creative partner, Dan Treichel. "What we love about the campaign device is that there's an endless amount of things that you never really think about being unfair."

The offbeat vibe of the latest spots recalls Moyee's "Under the Influence" work last year in one of Amsterdam's famous "coffee shops," where stoners were invited to sample the brand.

In the new campaign, however, radio takes the biggest risk by pushing potential hot-button topics. One ad begins: "Donuts are delicious: Powdered donuts, glazed donuts, donuts with donut crumbs on top of the donuts. It's unfair that a hardworking cop who puts his life on the line every day can't enjoy any of those without being aware that he's a horrible cliché."

Another ponders the fate of atheists: "If they're right, they will simply cease to exist … If they're wrong, they'll be drowning in a sea of fire and pain while demons stab them in the face with pitchforks forever."

If some folks take offense, well, life isn't fair, now is it?


Client: Moyee Coffee

Founder: Guido van Staveren van Dijk

Creative Director: John Weich

Agency: 180 Amsterdam

President, Chief Creative Officer: Al Moseley

Managing Director: Stephen Corlett

Executive Creative Directors: Dan Treichel, Dave Canning

Creative Director: Adam Noel

Art Director: Rachel Kennedy

Copywriter: Vito Catalani

Producer: Eline De Roo

Planner: Vincent Johnson

Brand Director: Katharina Schablitzki

Production Company: Camp David Films

Director: Robert Jitzmark

Producer: Nicola Jones

Director of Photography: Jallo Faber

Focus Puller: Johan Hannu

Production Designer: Karin Myrenberg

Stylist: Elsa Fischer

Hair, Makep: Johanna Nomiey

Editors: Jonas Wessman ("Rockstar"), Stefan Ström ("End of Days")

Postproduction: MPC and Frost VFX

Online: Samuel Schulthess@ Frost VFX

Rockstar: Per-Urban Österman

Rockgirl: Frida Poole

Voiceover: John Cavanagh

Equipment: Dagsljus Stockholm

Audio Postproduction: Wave Studios Amsterdam

Sound Design, Mix: Randall Macdonald @ Wave Studios Amsterdam