Time to smell the coffee

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Updated: September 29, 2015 10:16:41 AM

As the first ad in a campaign, this would have been great. As a sequel to the hugely popular ad featuring the stuttering comedian, this Nescafe ad is a letdown

nescafe coffeeAs the first ad in a campaign, this would have been great. As a sequel to the hugely popular ad featuring the stuttering comedian, this Nescafe ad is a letdown

The Ad

The ad features a cartoonist who is rendered jobless after his newspaper says his cartoons are no longer wanted. But with a hot cup of Nescafe egging him on, he finds new ways to get the world to see and applaud his cartoons. The online video is using the hashtag #ItAllStarts to engage with its users.

Our Take

Down, but not out. And definitely not ready to go down without a tough fight, when you have a hot steaming cup of coffee, aka Nescafe, to get the adrenaline, and thereby the ideas, flowing. That’s the message that the latest Nescafe ad sends out — in a world that is constantly changing, one needs to reinvent oneself to remain relevant.

Last year too, Nescafe had come out with a similar ad — a stuttering standup comedian who turns his disadvantage to his greatest strength, bolstered by a mug of Nescafe. Says Nayla Sioufi, general manager (coffee and beverages), Nestle India, “The Nescafé Standup Comedian campaign resonated very well with our consumers and was ranked amongst top 10 YouTube ads in India in 2014. While the current Nescafé #ItAllStarts campaign has been launched only recently, the first engagement indicators are extremely positive.”

That earlier ad managed to strike an emotional chord with the audience — not just because of the storyline but the underlying humour, the digs at oneself, the response of the audience, et al. This time round — all that is missing.

While the soul of the story remains intact, the layers that dress up the story and make it a delight to watch are painfully absent. The new ad works on the same theme instead of taking the idea further ahead. Perhaps it’s the pressure to be a bigger hit—the classic case of a sequel trying to be better than the original and failing miserably.

Perhaps, just perhaps, the creative team should have smelt the coffee.

What is pertinent is that the brand is targetting the youth over and over— seen in the previous ad and in the latest ad too. That is emphasised by the choice of protagonists—young, fresh faces—and careers that are unconventional, to say the least. That is something that today’s youth can easily identify with, thus making the brand idea relevant and inspiring. As Sioufi says, “Nescafe plays a positive role in the life of youth as they work towards achieving their dreams, and is their constant companion strengthening their resolve. The latest Nescafé #ItAllStarts  campaign featuring the cartoonist also highlights this positive role, just like the Nescafé Standup Comedian addressed this in a beautiful way.”

— Banasree Purkayastha

Rating: **1/2

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