Coffee brands tie in music, movies

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Coffee is at the heart of a lifestyle for a new generation of java lovers. Now, two long-established grocery brands hope to capture some of the Starbucks-generated magic with music- and movie-themed efforts tied to the hype of the Grammy and Academy Awards ceremonies.

Procter & Gamble Co.'s Folgers and Kraft Foods' Maxwell House both will leverage popular lifestyle pursuits in a bid to gain share. At-home coffee sales are flat at roughly $4.5 billion, while the overall U.S. coffee market grew to a whopping $18.5 billion in 1999, from $13.5 billion in 1993, according to the National Coffee Association.

"Cafes and specialty stores have heightened interest in the category, which is something we want to leverage and not let it pass us by," said Karen Wilber, category business director of Kraft's coffee business. "There is a lot of activity in the world of coffee, and if you don't do something about it, it's going to hurt your brand."

Maxwell House holds a 27% share vs. category leader Folgers' 34%.

P&G, in a bid to reach the 25- to 35-year-old parents of elementary school-age children, will sponsor The Grammy Foundation through a music education program. "Wakin' up the music" includes an ad with young children playing music, though it will not use the brand's "best part of waking up" jingle.

"What we're trying to say [with the ad] is that Folgers is a brand that believes in music," said Graham Woodall, exec VP-executive creative director at Bcom3 Group's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York. The program grew out of research on the benefits of music to children's development, said Mike Schafer, marketing director of coffee products for P&G.

In addition to the TV ad-which breaks today and will air during the Grammy broadcast on Feb. 21 on CBS-the promotion includes programs in public elementary schools.

Maxwell House, meanwhile, will leverage its "Make every day good to the last drop" campaign with a promotion timed to coincide with the Academy Awards on Walt Disney Co.'s ABC. Because movies were found to be one of the most popular leisure activities for coffee drinkers, Maxwell House will offer a free movie ticket with a single purchase of the brand. The effort will include TV, radio, print, Internet and in-theater ads that begin this month but will be heavily weighted against Oscar time in March (Philip Morris Cos.' Kraft is not actually buying time during the awards show broadcast March 25.)

"We want to have a more contemporary tone and become more useful to consumers to show them Maxwell House is not just this old, trusted brand, but is also a brand that's relevant today," Ms. Wilber said.

Contributing: Wendy Davis

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