Celebrity culture and the elite vision about Coffee

7 mins read

High-end coffee or tea production companies have found ways to associate universal beverages with wealth and worth. Since these have started to acquire a position in the commonplace and among the common folk, especially with the invention of instant coffee; companies find it a necessity to set their coffee as a unique, essential but prized commodity for coffee drinkers.

  • Coffee’s global rise to popularity

Coffee wasn’t always a common drink. Tea had pushed into its fame because of the British. Until the Boston tea party in 1773, tea was a popular drink among the American folk.

Coffee found its success due to a lot of other reasons. The prohibition of alcohol in the U.S in the 1920s lead to people counting in on coffee to fulfil their addiction. The surplus of coffee production in Brazil in the 19th century. High supply dropped the price of the coffee. This overabundance of coffee also headed to Nescafe finding a way to sell the surplus coffee by freeze-drying and turning it into a new commodity: instant coffee. Perhaps the extra production of coffee and the booming culture of consuming coffee might have birthed the idea of the need for an espresso machine. Maybe that is what lead to the invention of the first espresso machine was by Dr Ernest Illy in 1933.

American culture has made its way into the lives of people in different countries either through globalisation or Hollywood and television. Since consuming coffee was a part of the morning routine among Americans, coffee may have found its global success through media as well.

 

Pop Culture and Present-Day Advertisements

1. Hugh Jackman-Laughing Man

Almost all companies involved in the production of coffee and coffee drinks have tried to appear as elegant as possible in production. Their approach has been to attract consumers based on the idea of elegance and class. The motive of the advertisement is to insert a subconscious desire of wanting to become the calm, cool and posh celebrity figure.

Among the numerous coffee ads, Hugh Man’s Laughing Man coffee ads are significantly less boastful in this aspect. The ads in the discussion have been featured on actor Ryan Reynold’s YouTube channel.

All videos on Ryan’s channel are one of a kind. Hence, undoubtedly, the two ads “Truce” and “Nice Morning” featured on his channel are also symbolic of so. On par with the production quality and extravagances of other ads; what makes these ads stand out is Ryan’s involvement through narration and storytelling.

As a plus point; which wasn’t necessarily a feature of other coffee ads; was the mention and contribution of coffee farmers. The goodwills disclosed were a far cry from other celebrity coffee advertisements.

2. Brad Pitt- De’Longhi

De’Longhi recently launched their new global campaign which featured Brad Pitt. Catered to coffee enthusiasts, the ad teases them for their love.

Brad Pitt picks up his coffee beans and heads out. The viewer is tickled; since they are made to presume that he must be heading home. Instead, he stops by a mechanic. The camera’s focus on a man drinking coffee finally satisfies the desire that Brad must have consumed his coffee. On second look, he is patiently waiting. The next shot is him on the road; decisively imprinting in the mind of the viewer that he must be heading home.  Rather, he stops at the fuel station for his fuel. Another montage of steering through the road might seem like a journey for another destination; but this time, he is finally home. At last,  brewing himself a cup of coffee to enjoy.

3. George Clooney, Matt Damon and other celebrities- Nespresso

Nespresso’s ads which featured George Clooney oozed luxury, class and coffee. All ads featuring Clooney were broadcasted at different times and over several years. George Clooney starred with many other actors in the series of ads for Nespresso.

Since Nespresso is a luxury brand of coffee everything about them screams affluence: the shooting locations, hired actors, their products etc. In fact, they believe in marketing strategy so much so that a few ads that were targeted at the “normal” coffee drinkers featured Danny Devito and Jack Black. Nespresso using them to represent the sceptics and the hesitant consumer base of Nespresso. Whereas celebrities like Camilla Belle and Jean Dujardin were featured to raise the monetary value of the ads; to appear chicer.

  1. Lavazza

To stand out and look unique, Lavazza had to do something different than just feature celebrities. Lavazza knew that coffee drinkers believe in real coffee along with being good and needed to establish that. Lavazza thus sticks to the tagline “Real Italian Coffee”.

A woman walks into Lavazza Cafe and asks for a real Italian coffee. A good question to aim for; since there are indeed many Italian coffee drinks as fussed by almost everyone in the advertisement. Lavazza was aiming to sell; that their coffee is authentic coffee and not comparable to any other coffee drink in the market. It is unquestionably real Italian coffee in its form and the nature of being served; since they subconsciously associate it with Europeans and class.

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