In the Age of Social Networking, Nescafe's Pan-European Ad Reminds Us How Few 'Friends' Are Really Special

Ad by Publicis Was Filmed at a Roman Theater in Bulgaria

Published On
Oct 09, 2017

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A new pan-European TV campaign from Nescafe, relaunching its Nescafe Gold instant coffee, plays on the idea that, in the age of social media, we all have hundreds of connections, but very few people know us really well.

The spot, by Publicis London together with Publicis Conseil, sees a man step onto a stage in a huge arena (actually the Plovdiv Roman theater in Bulgaria) and address a crowd filled with family, university friends, ex-girlfriends, co-workers and more. The voiceover tells us that, in our lifetime, we'll meet nearly 80,000 people.

The man starts to speak, instructing various groups to sit down if they can't remember his name, don't know his high-school nickname, don't know about the "one who got away" and have never seen him cry. A few are left standing, but when he asks them to sit if they've lost touch, most of these go too. He ends by asking these people if they have a moment now, and the final few are invited to join him for a cup of coffee, as the strains of "Stand by Me" start to play in the background. The spot was directed by Henry Mason of Quad Productions.

The tagline of the spots is "For the moments that matter" and, though the product connection does seem a little tenuous, it's an idea that does tap into a modern quandary; we "know" huge numbers of people online but how many of them would we actually want to sit and have a coffee with? (Perhaps, too, the nostalgic spirit might remind us of the days when we did drink instant coffee with our friends, before the days of capsules, in-home milk frothers and a Starbucks on every corner.)