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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

STōK Cold Brew Coffee + Wrexham AFC | Partnership Campaign

Winner in Brand Awareness Campaign

Silver Honor in Brand Partnership


Since the launch of the brand in 2015, STōK Cold Brew Coffee has grown rapidly – doubling in size in the last three years alone! – within the ready-to-drink coffee category. However, the category still has only 14% household penetration, with STōK accounting for 4% HHP, but gaining households while the category (excluding STōK is currently losing them. Even as the #1 share leader within black RTD multi-serve coffee, data suggested STōK lagged in brand awareness and share of voice. As a result, for STōK Cold Brew’s first ever national campaign, the objective was simple: create a distinct and disruptive campaign that aligns with the brand’s personality to drive awareness of the STōK brand. 

Strategy and Execution

To deliver a national campaign that punches above its weight and breaks through the noise, we knew it had to be culturally relevant to our consumer and couldn’t smell like advertising. Consumers want to be entertained, not talked at. Instead, we wanted to give them something to talk about.  


We found that cultural relevancy & phenomenon in Wrexham AFC as a team, a town, and a community. Plus, some Hollywood stardust came from the celebrity chairmen that catapulted the team to media attention and put their story in front of a massive US audience. The Wrexham AFC Cinematic Universe became our rocket ship, creating a moment that STōK could be part of, introducing our brand in a meaningful way. The heart of this partnership lies in sponsoring the naming rights to the Wrexham Racecourse Ground, now the STōK Cae Ras. STōK is all about bold moves, what is more bold and buzzworthy than a brand sponsoring a stadium in a country where they don’t sell their product?


To announce this partnership, our creative strategy was simple and highlighted an entertaining cultural and consumer truth: STōK is sponsoring a football team in a country where cold brew is not culturally mainstream. Our hero asset, :30 Secret Replacement video, brought to life this cultural tension through a brand and chairmen tonally aligned practical joke where the Wrexham AFC team’s teatime is hijacked with STōK. Our creative partner, Maximum Effort, championed this idea and was instrumental in bringing this to life.   


Given the potential virality of the creative idea, our go-to-market strategy was digital-first and earned led. We funneled all organic and paid resources into impressions against this asset vs “spreading the peanut butter” across a suite of tactics. We aimed to burn bright for 24-48 hours, flooding our consumers’ channels with the same asset when media coverage would be at its highest for ultimate breakthrough. There was no way any consumer could miss our spot on May 25, 2023.   


After the initial launch moment, the campaign continued throughout the year. We showed up during the Wrexham U.S.A Invasion, bringing the team to the US to play against Premier League and MLS teams, with an in-person experience and a partnership with the Men in Blazers podcast. From there, we celebrated the start of a new football season and brought Wrexham and the STōK Cae Ras to a US audience through another piece of content designed to run in a targeted media buy alongside the Welcome to Wrexham documentary. Our final moment culminated in early 2024 where STōK debuted its first ever Super Bowl spot. The work, featuring Sir Anthony Hopkins, was the epitome of an ad built for consumer entertainment. This was a 30 second movie, not a commercial, introducing Sir Anthony as the beloved Wrexham mascot, Wrex the Dragon. STōK is the fuel behind Sir Anthony’s performance as Wrex. The ad was so well received that it made AdWeek’s 13 Best Super Bowl spots list, the only regional ad to be included.


Our new campaign & partnership with Wrexham AFC was a smashing success.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Harvest Creative, Danone N.A In House Agency, STōK Cold Brew Coffee (Danone North America)


Entry Credits