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Folgers is taking on its bad reputation with unapologetic new advertising campaign

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ORRVILLE, Ohio, USA – In a move to shatter misperceptions and reinforce their status as a leader in the coffee category, today Folgers announced the launch of a bold, new campaign. This continues a streak of The J.M. Smucker Co. pushing the marketing and advertising boundaries with new, dynamic creative for some of America’s most recognizable brands.

“Over the last two years, we paired Jif® with a hip-hop legend to help them with their new style of flow, positioned our Meow Mix® cats in the biggest musical genres and put Café Bustelo®, a bodega coffee brand, on the red carpet,” said Geoff Tanner, Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer at The J.M. Smucker Co. “This new Folgers campaign is just the latest example of the unapologetic, breakthrough creative that’s transforming the way we approach brand storytelling.”

Folgers is an iconic American brand with an iconic jingle, but when it comes to coffee, their reputation is a bit stale. Today marks a reintroduction that will wake up a new generation of coffee lovers to what they’ve been missing. The new work strikes a radical tone filled with unapologetic pride. For the first time, Folgers is celebrating their expert craft, deep roots in New Orleans and 35 million drinkers* who wake up to Folgers each year.

“We have heard from consumers, that ‘Folgers is not for me,'” said Geoff Tanner, Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer at The J.M. Smucker Co. “In a competitive category that has dismissed the brand and labeled Folgers as their grandma’s coffee, we’re shaking things up by boldly choosing to overtly acknowledge any negative misperceptions and then loudly and proudly challenge them.”

Widely known for its tagline The Best Part of Wakin’ Up®, which launched in the early 80s, the Folgers jingle went on to become one of the most recognizable pieces of advertising in American culture. But this new work features a bold new sound featuring none other than Joan Jett and the Blackhearts’ iconic track, “Bad Reputation”.

“The music complemented our desire to address people’s misperceptions about Folgers coffee head-on with a punk-rock rebelliousness that celebrates the swagger of our 35 million annual drinkers* and continues to showcase the evolution of bold, unexpected creative across The J.M. Smucker Co portfolio,” says Erica Roberts, Chief Creative Officer, PSOne, the bespoke agency solution for The J.M. Smucker Co. “There is no better song to convey that feeling than Bad Reputation.”

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Folgers beans are toasted, roasted and tasted by highly trained Master Cuppers in New Orleans. The deep sense of pride for its city is inherent throughout the campaign, which features local legends like “Trombone Shorty”, who collaborated on the music track to give it an authentic New Orleans vibe, and a host of other NOLA natives, including Folgers employees. More importantly, it serves as a reflection of Folgers and the brand’s ever-present commitment to uplift its community.

Folgers and their New Orleans roots

The brand is a leading employer in New Orleans with three manufacturing facilities in the area that provide more than 750 jobs to the local community. But Folgers doesn’t just employ generations of families, it also gives back to the community through volunteer and service work. After Hurricane Katrina, Folgers was one of the first major businesses to reopen within a month after the storm, providing a sense of rebuilding for the local community. These efforts have continued through relief funds, with more than $1 million dollars in donations to support local efforts and more than 25,000 hours of community service by passionate and proud employees. The plants are shut down multiple times throughout the year to allow employees to give back to the community personally in a variety of ways, including the rebuilding of homes. Since 2013, teams have supported the construction of nearly 80 homes for those in need.

“We are proud to call NOLA home and excited to recognize the great work of our employees in what’s to become the next evolution of Folgers,” says Emily Lucci, Director of Folgers Brand Marketing, The J.M. Smucker Co. “In a city like New Orleans, everyone is a friend and friends are like family. We are a company that cares for each other and dedicated to delivering the great-tasting, high-quality coffee for our consumers. This new campaign aims to share this message with the world.”

The campaign will be deployed across TV, online video, digital display, and streaming audio. #DamnRightItsFolgers is the pride-filled social and influencer campaign that leverages the 35 million annual Folgers drinkers* to spread the word. Experiential activations are on the horizon as the campaign unfolds in 2022.

*IRI National Consumer Panel, L52 w.e. July 11th, 2021

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