Love may be a many-splendored thing, but when it comes to professing it with panache on Valentine's Day, even poets and master artists are rendered speechless. Coffee-mate, a brand named for its perfect soul mate, wanted to step outside the cup to brew new fan connections, creating bonds that go beyond marketing speak. And coupons don't engender love. The solution? Help consumers express their love by having Coffee-mate “Picassos" create one-of-a-kind, handcrafted Valentine masterpieces within hours on Facebook and Twitter – using sugar, coffee beans, even wood. The love caught on. Channel engagement grew 2,332% and nearly 4,000 new consumers joined Coffee-mate's social communities. For many fans, Coffee-mate stirred up much love.
Insight, Strategy, and the Idea
We all strive to be Shakespeares and Picassos when it comes to expressing our love on Valentine's Day, but for the average Joe, this is a tall order. Coffee-mate – aka “coffee's perfect mate" – knows an inability to express oneself doesn't lessen the depths of love. It also knows Facebook fans and Tweeters are besieged by one-way branded speak.
Coffee-mate wanted to step “outside the cup" to stir connections with fans on Valentine's Day – by helping them express their love for their own perfect mate. We asked our fans to use #CMValentine to post love notes on Valentine's eve. In Coffee-mate's first-ever real-time social media event, we passed these notes to a roomful of “Picassos" who turned fans' love-notes into handcrafted Valentine masterpieces, and within hours sent back photographed art. We captured hearts instantly, while generating the brand's highest ever engagement and dramatically outpacing top competitors.
The campaign showed how passionate Coffee-mate fans can be. Over the two-day event, fans submitted hundreds of love notes and the artists created nearly 90 one-of-a-kind Valentines. Engagement levels spiked to record highs – a 2,332% increase; also we welcomed 3,700+ new Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Compared to top creamer competitors, Coffee-mate maintained a leading average share of voice of 68.5% for two weeks. And that leadership extended across the social space as it led all brands engaging in Valentine's Day promotions, including Pizza Hut and American Greetings, in engagement, shares and net positive mention metrics.
Fans shared love notes on the Coffee-mate Facebook page or via Twitter, using #CMValentine. Over two days, artists used fans' comments as inspiration to design original Valentines using paint, coffee beans, wood, chalk, and other media. (One, scrawled in sugar, read: “You're my sugar & when I kiss you, you make me feel sweet.") The brand sent photographed art back to senders, who shared them with loved ones and their social communities. We created a Love Gallery, and because our Picassos could turn out only so many masterpieces, we asked Second City comedians to act out Video Valentines, so no fan and their perfect mate felt unloved.