Resurrecting an iconic brand in a highly competitive and evolving marketplace

Eight O’Clock Coffee brand awareness and sales had experienced a steady decline due to very limited levels of equity advertising support for 15 years. When they turned to OCD, they had a limited advertising budget to employ, no creative assets and most importantly no brand “news” to communicate until K-Cups and new brand packaging/flavors would be rolled out the following year. The first thing we needed to do was stop the bleeding.

We prepared a multi-stage, multi-year campaign to flatline the sales decline and raise awareness to launch the new line extensions. First, we proposed a radio effort using personality “live reads” (scripts to be read live or prerecorded at the station by on-air talent) both nationally employing Boomer Esiason, John Tesh, and Billy Bush as spokesmen, as well as select on-air talent in the brand’s top 14 markets (combined represented over 53% of sales). This strategy not only served to eliminate the expense of creative development, it also allowed us to customize the messaging to the personalities of the on-air talent and the individual local markets.

Success was measured virtually immediately with an end to the sales declines and a quick increase in sales.
For phase two the brand was ready to communicate the launch of their K-Cups, which would immediately enhance their competitive positioning in the category. Again, budgets were relatively limited given the need to fund the repositioning, new packaging and new flavors.

We developed a multi-platform campaign working with Meredith Corporation employing their print, digital and video assets. A 72% discount in print rates was realized with over $100,000 in digital and video support being packaged into the media package as bonus support for a $2MM investment.

As part of this program, a digital promotional sweepstakes was developed delivering over 2.6MM total sweepstakes entries, over 13M PDF downloads, almost 65M Opt-ins and over 11MM added value impressions.
We also negotiated a sales guarantee of 10% increase as part of this program, measuring Nielsen Home Scan data matched to Meredith subscribing households. This guarantee was not typically offered to brands at this budget level, but OCD leveraged its relationships to obtain the guarantee.

For the third phase, OCD Media was tasked with planning and executing a television campaign in 17 local markets supporting the rebranding of Eight O’Clock Coffee. This rebranding effort included a new logo, new packaging of the brand, new positioning and line extensions including both flavors and the introduction of the availability of the K-Cups.

Media negotiations were held at the corporate level of each of the major TV providers—meaning CBS TV rather than with each individual station in each market. We were able to maximize leverage based on the combined budgets of each of the 17 stations participating in the campaign for each of the three primary TV Networks (ABC, NBC, and CBS) whose programming jumped in our analyses. An in-program and on line participation in the live broadcast of The Emmy Awards Show was also secured based on this relationship with CBS Television at the corporate level, and the negotiation strategy we employed.

This allowed us to secure the best rates possible and also secure extensive added value programs in the form of other media properties each corporation owned. Radio, Digital Display, Mobile, Transit and other Out-Of-Home (including dynamic digital out of home properties in Times Square) were all secured as bonus to the TV schedules that aired. We also successfully leveraged our relationship with one of the station groups to add in a local cause marketing effort—at no additional cost–to enhance the brand’s image among the target, who were motivated to buy brands that re-invested in the community.
During phase four, Eight O’Clock Coffee launched a line extension, Infusions, tailored to the lifestyle needs of their consumers. Each brand providing rich flavor while benefiting from the added ingredients in each brand line. “Alert” delivered a Hi-Caffeine brew with guarana designed to start the day, “Relax” delivering a decaffeinated product with chamomile & lavender to wind down the day and Super Spice, coffee blended with turmeric and cinnamon for added health benefits.
To launch these brands, a multi-market (20 markets) tour was scheduled. OCD Media scheduled radio campaigns in each market, again employing live read copy to drive overall efficiencies supporting local market events so that the “Infusions Van” could distribute samples to the crowds in attendance.

To further promote this campaign when the tour arrived in New York for Thanksgiving Week, OCD negotiated a product integration on WNBC-TV’s NY Live program. The integration consisted of a live interview of Eight O’clock’s brand manager, discussing the attributes of the new brand line. This integrations was later edited to a :30 spot which aired on WNBC for 3 weeks (note there was no TV creative available), in taxi’s, New Jersey transit, as well as on the WNBC-TV and Eight O’Clock websites

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