A Brand Gesture to Write Home About
Recently the Sydney Harbor Foreshore Authority created a remarkably clever sculpture at the Rocks to raise the profile of the precinct. More than 4000 cups of coffee were used to recreate the Mona Lisa, with milk added in varying amounts to the cups to create the lighter and darker tones that made-up the famous face. It was a great idea with a reasonably active viral campaign utilising email and YouTube. But I was left with question so itchy it has to be scratched…
If this gesture worked well for SHFA – how much better would it have worked for a coffee brand?
Looking closely at the pics it appears Grinders Coffee and the Dairy Farmers are involved. But ownership of the event and viral confusingly seems to be with SHFA. Starbucks recently launched their new (if not particularly successful) Via instant coffee. Just imagine a giant piece of replica artwork in each major Starbucks hub around the world – now that would have been a Bold Brand Gesture of the highest order. They could have been giving away product tastings as quickly as they could pour them, but most importantly, the gesture has a direct and memorable relevance to the product, it’s take-away, drink anywhere, anytime proposition and the spirit of the Starbucks brand. That would have been a memorable and remarkable brand experience.
As clever as the SHFA brand gesture was, its lack of strategic relevance will mean it becomes filed in the ‘clever stunt’ folder in our brain, which in turn gets soon filed on the ‘do not remember’ server. Every great idea requires relevance as a vital ingredient.