The power of love
A Nestlé case study

Page 1: Introduction

On the 7th December 1992, 30 million viewers watched episode 12 of the Nescafé Gold Blend saga in which the hero Tony told Sharon - 'I love you!' This was one of the high points of perhaps the most successful advertising campaign in this country in recent years. The success of the campaign rested on the fact that advertising had become drama and that the audience had become hooked on the...
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Page 2: Strengthening the position of Gold Blend

Positioning is a key aspect of marketing. The position of a product is the way it is perceived by consumers in terms of the key features they want to get out of the product i.e. those aspects which they see as giving value for money. For example, in purchasing instant coffee, consumers may weigh up value for money in terms of price, the quality and taste of the coffee. An individual business...
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Page 3: Appealing to a larger audience

The Nescafé Gold Blend story, which we focus on in this case, shows how Nestlé made sure the product was positioned to meet the needs of the most appropriate audience for the product. In the late 1980s, Nestlé briefed the advertising agency McCann-Erickson to produce creative new ideas to ensure that the product appealed to a wider audience. Advertising agencies provide the...
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Page 4: Creating a more emotional aproach

It was decided that the advertising should increase the customer's involvement more with the product by creating a more emotional campaign. The targeted result of the advertising campaign was:  'Gold Blend would be the coffee you drink to demonstrate your sophistication'. The adverts therefore created a sophisticated world into which the consumer would become involved. Gold Blend would become...
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Page 5: The creative insight - the original

The task set for the creative team was to produce a campaign that was talked about as much as TV programmes. The team came up with the novel idea of producing a sequence or series of adverts with an interesting storyline. At the time television viewers in the UK showed an avid interest in a number of upmarket 'soaps,' such as Dallas and Dynasty. There was also another important upmarket series...
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Page 6: The success of the first series

Originally the first series was intended to run for six episodes. Due to its success, it ran for 12 episodes over five and a half years. There was a series of spin-offs based on the advertisements, including a full-length novel about the characters, called Love Over Gold, which became a bestseller. The success of the book led to a new tradition for Gold Blend; major promotions based on romantic...
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Page 7: Summary of the advertising strategy

Target The first series and thus the campaign was to be targeted at: Women of any class, who saw themselves as slightly more discerning than the norm, but who were not coffee connoisseurs. For the second series, a greater emphasis was put on younger women. Objectives To position Gold Blend as an upmarket coffee, in a class of its own, worth every penny, but which anyone could drink. To...
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Page 8: Evaluating the success of the campaign

There can be little doubt the advertising strategy had been a success. Nescafé Gold Blend had increased its volume share of the instant coffee market from 6.6to 9.0between 1987 and 1993. In the same period, advertising recall (the rate at which consumers could remember the advert and its key messages) had risen from 18to 36. However, the main success of the advert had been with the over...
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Page 9: The new storyline

The new storyline once again focused on the 'Sophisticated Romance.' However, instead of a story of a couple brought together through the coffee, but kept apart by events, it was the classic battle between romance (and Gold Blend) on the one hand and material wealth on the other, represented by two male suitors. Taking another leaf from the television programme makers' books, the advertising...
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Page 10: Improving the product

So far we have concentrated on the way in which advertising enabled Gold Blend to improve its position in the market, while making the lifestyle associated with the product accessible to a much larger target audience of consumers. While this was happening the product itself was not standing still. Today organisations are only able to maintain ongoing success through continuous improvement. Over...
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Page 11: Improving the packaging

Packaging is an important part of any product. The box, bottle or jar that contains a product can mean the difference between good and poor sales performance. Research into packaging design is thus an essential ingredient of marketing. As Gold Blend has changed, so too has its packaging: 1965 - The original Gold Blend jar was curved with fluted sides. 1982 - Gold Blend was re-launched with...
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Page 12: Conclusion

This case study highlights the way in which a top quality product can improve its performance by successful and intelligent marketing. Today, products are closely associated with lifestyles and as people become better off they can afford more of the 'better things' in life. Advertising can play an important role in helping consumers to develop a taste for new and more exotic products. However...
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