The Coffee Company Promo SLIDEVERTISING by They Amsterdam

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Industry Business equipment & services, Corporate Image
Media Promo & PR
Market Netherlands
Agency They Amsterdam
Released March 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Internet/Online Advertising in a Promotional Campaign
Product/Service: FREE WI-FI
Agency: THEY
Date of First Appearance: Mar 9 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: THEY, Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Entry URL:
Media placement: Website - - 09-03-2009
Media placement: Press Release - National And International Advertising Press - 09-03-2009
Media placement: Press Release - National Student Press - 09-03-2009
Media placement: Notification - Dutch Social Media - 09-03-2009

Describe the objective of the promotion.
CoffeeCompany is The Netherlands’ largest chain of coffee bars. In 2009 it introduced free wifi Internet in all of its shops near universities. So unsurprisingly, students are an important target group. Young students like to go into CoffeeCompany after school or in between classes to work on their laptops, spending their pitiful pocket money on the coffee they need to keep them going. However, Dutch universities are notoriously difficult places to market, because of government regulations. CoffeeCompany asked us to come up with a smart, low budget idea to avoid this regulation and activate students to study at CoffeeCompany.

Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation
Students don’t like regulations. But students like to prank their teachers. And students like free coffee. So we let the students do the advertising themselves. At students can download branded CoffeeCompany slides, containing headlines like “I got free coffee to put this slide in my presentation.” All students had to do was put one of these slides into their in-class presentations, have someone in class take a picture, and then upload that picture to the website. In return, they got a voucher for 10 free coffees. The action spread via word-of-mouth, social media, and the in-class presentations themselves.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results
Although the media budget was virtually zero, the action created quite a stir. Of course, every in-class presentation gave 20, 50, or even 100 impressions, depending on how many students were in the class. CoffeeCompany got hundreds of students to participate in the action, uploading their photos and thus thousands of views of in-presentation slides itself. And while the students loved it, the action was controversial among teachers. Some teachers outlawed it, saying classrooms are not for commercial purposes. But in the end the action, dubbed ‘Slidevertising’, created worldwide PR for CoffeeCompany.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service
The relevance of the promotion was manifold. First, using an online medium to promote free wifi seemed perfectly logical. Secondly, connecting ‘coffee’ to ‘in-class presentations’ delivered on the insight that such presentations are usually made at night or under a great deal of stress. Thirdly, having the students use their presentation as an advertising medium delivered on the insight that students love to bend the rules and feel they have power over regulated institutions, especially when they can get something for free in return. The amateur-looking website added to the whole guerilla feel of the promotion.