• A few days ago I wrote about Starbucks’ new advertising campaign. At least one of the new ads addresses the issue of price—warning that “paying less for your coffee comes with a price.” Since writing that I have noticed that a Stella Artois campaign makes a similar warning, “Perfection has its price.”

    Starbucks' new ad campaign warns that cheaper coffee comes with a price.

    Starbucks' new ad campaign warns that cheaper coffee comes with a price.

    A Stella Artois ad campaign claims that "perfection has its price."

    A Stella Artois ad campaign that has been running for a few years claims that "perfection has its price."

    As for the two approaches, I find the Starbucks ad to be much more effective. First of all, it is running in newspapers, and the headline is followed by a story of what separates them from their competition–with topics including their use of fair-trade beans. So, if the headline catches your eye, you can read on to find out why they claim that cheaper coffee has its price. And it actually makes me pause and consider paying $4 for a cup of coffee.

    But the Stella ad is a billboard, so you only see the headline. The focus here, then, is on the “perfection” claim–a broad claim with nothing to substantiate it. It certainly doesn’t make me want to buy the beer. Rather, it only makes me wonder, “how much more expensive is the beer than its competitors?”

    What do you think? Which campaign is more effective?

    Zazou Marketing

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  • More and more ad campaigns focus exclusively on getting your attention through visuals. While I am definitely an advocate of eye-catching design, I also absolutely believe that to get a good return on your investment, design and good copy go hand-in-hand.

    Which is why I was so interested in hearing that Starbucks is running a new campaign: a series of full-page newspaper ads that are loaded with copy. A full-page ad? With loads of copy? This is definitely a different tactic. And it’s one that I am interested in seeing.

    Both their website and the senior vice president of marketing’s blog offer a sneak-peak of the ads (I can’t display them here without a password). But from Advertising Age I learned that the ads will tell their story of what separates them from their competition, with topics including their use of fair-trade beans and giving health care to many part time employees. The ads will also address the issue of price—warning that “paying less for your coffee comes with a price.”

    Come Sunday, I’ll definitely check out the first ad in the New York Times to see just how much copy there is and to see if it is compelling enough to keep me reading. Then, of course, the true test for this trend-bucking tactic will be to see if the ads have any effect on the company’s bottom line.

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