Caribou Coffee Case study RE-BRAND by Colle + Mcvoy


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Industry Coffee, Tea, Breakfast Drinks, Retail, Distribution & Rental companies
Media Case study
Market United States
Agency Colle + Mcvoy
Executive Creative Director Mike Caguin
Art Director Nina Orezzoli, Derek Till
Copywriter John Neerland, Steve Kaplan
Designer Lindsey Aho, Anna Giacomini
Released August 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Titanium and Integrated
Product/Service: COFFEE SHOP
Agency: COLLE + McVOY
Date of First Appearance: Apr 1 2010
Executive Creative Director: Mike Caguin (Colle+McVoy)
Group Creative Director: Eric Husband (Colle+McVoy)
Design Director: Ed Bennett (Colle+McVoy)
Art Director: Nina Orezzoli (Colle+McVoy)
Copywriter: John Neerland (Colle+McVoy)
Designer: Lindsey Aho (Colle+McVoy)
Designer: Anna Giacomini (Colle+McVoy)
Copywriter: Steve Kaplan (Colle+McVoy)
Art Director: Derek Till (Colle+McVoy)
Print Production: Brad Smith (Colle+McVoy)
Media placement: Logo - In-Store - 1 March 2010
Media placement: Cups - In-Store - 1 March 2010
Media placement: Outdoor - Bus Shelters In Minneapolis - 15 April 2010
Media placement: Transit - Light Rail Transit In Minneapolis - April 2010
Media placement: Newspaper - USA Today - May 2010
Media placement: Website - Web - 4 August 2010

Describe the campaign/entry
Caribou Coffee is the second-largest coffee chain in the world. To better communicate the soul of the brand and differentiate Caribou from its more-corporate competitors, we set out to completely relaunch the brand. The founders’ original tagline, “Life is short. Stay awake for it.” had become diluted as other taglines were introduced through the years, and the seize-the-day spirit of the brand became a forgotten story. The new brand positioning expands the original meaning behind the line, giving Caribou an opportunity to continually remind people there’s a lot to stay awake for — and a good cup of coffee sure helps. Design note: Hand-lettered typography was used throughout the campaign.

Describe how the campaign/entry was launched across each channel in the order of implementation
From in-store to online, we looked at every touchpoint as an opportunity to serve up things for people stay awake for.

We looked at Caribou’s main touchpoint, their coffee cup, as a walking billboard. Other elements included napkins, drink holders, a brand book and posters.

We made outdoor as participatory as possible. Real globes were inserted into transit shelters to inspire travel. Spinners encouraged people to donate time to nonprofits. And dogs and cats from local shelters suggested animal adoption. Other executions included transit shelters that were converted to ovens (with real heaters) and wrapped commuter trains.

National newspaper ads (e.g. USA Today) offered a seemingly endless checklist of activities and pursuits to stay awake for.

Online asked coffee drinkers what they stayed awake for. The best submissions were featured on millions of new cups. Content for Facebook and Twitter was created using the same premise.

Give some idea of how successful this campaign/entry was with both client and consumer
The rebranding helped drive Caribou Coffee’s stock price up more than 400% in 2010 (while at the same time, the recession was causing many to ditch their coffee habits). Store traffic increased by 6 percent with net sales improving by 9.4 percent.

The campaign also created a new sense of excitement and buzz around the Caribou Coffee brand. Hundreds of millions of impressions were created with coverage in everything from Fast Company to And since the launch, Facebook fans have increased six-fold.