- Italian coffee brand Illy kicked off an out-of-home (OOH) and digital campaign in San Francisco to promote its partnership with opera singer Andrea Bocelli, the company revealed in a press release shared with Marketing Dive. Billboards are running throughout the city from the airport to the financial district and select BART stations.
- The "LIVEHAPPilly" campaign focuses on the 85-year-old coffee company's heritage and its core message as a brand that promises a classical experience combining a commitment to beauty and goodness, a philosophy that dates back to ancient Greece, per the release. To deliver the message, the campaign employs geotargeted digital and social ads, including spots on Spotify, Yelp and Hulu, among others.
- The campaign is the lead story on the brand's website with black-and-white videos of Bocelli prominently displayed. Visitors must enter their email address to view the videos.
Illy is trying to stake its position as a classic espresso brand with a heritage in an effort to better compete amid a surge in new specialty coffee brands. Renowned opera singer Bocelli appears as the face of Illy's campaign to help illustrate that the brand and singer share similar values around a commitment to perfection, while the delivery of the message takes a decidedly modern approach through its use of digital marketing and billboards, which are experiencing a resurgence as brands look to engage on-the-go consumers.
The push by Illy comes as specialty coffee sales are on the rise as foodies look beyond Starbucks for their caffeine fix. According to the National Coffee Association, 59% of coffee consumed daily is "gourmet," the first time this category has garnered the majority of sales, according to the NCA's National Coffee Drinking Trends report. The research also revealed that younger people are tipping the scales as people 35 and under are more likely to drink this category of coffee on the go, Forbes reported.
San Francisco makes sense as the U.S. launching pad for the campaign, especially as the city is home to specialty coffee roaster Blue Bottle (which Nestle purchased in 2017) and is a leader in the craft coffee space. With most young consumers purchasing coffee drinks while out and about, the OOH ads near transit hubs and location targeting aim to build brand awareness while driving consumers into Illy's 7 cafes around the city.