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A Low Fat Latte That’s Also Commercial-Free?

A Low Fat Latte That’s Also Commercial-Free?
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Scott Lachut, PSFK Labs
  • 28 january 2009

During an interview with FOX News that took place in August, GoGORILLA Media CEO Alan Wolan said, “Just because you can put an ad somewhere, doesn’t mean you should,” so why is he attempting to co-opt the foam atop our cappuccinos and lattes? This newest invasion, neatly packaged as a guerilla marketing innovation, is called CoffeeMedia, a way for advertisers to have their catchy slogans tapped out in chocolate-y powder and broadcast to an unsuspecting audience – in this case customers enjoying the relative solace of a quiet cafe.

The very reason that non-traditional marketing is effective – it places ads in locations we wouldn’t normally expect, often creating a memorable experience that will be talked about later on – also points to why it can be so problematic. In its quest to seek out consumers anywhere and everywhere they might be and capture their attention in the process, this guerilla mindset loudly proclaims everything to be fair game, even if it means treading on or crossing the fine line that separates our public and private space. When anything goes, all press is good press and proof of a successful campaign. But this attitudes seems to view customers as expendable – “you win some, you lose some” – when these are the very relationships you’re trying to foster. With that being said, is the intrusion on our milk froth really that important?

Sure, we’ve already gladly given away our to-go coffee cups and sleeves, but we’re not paying for those things anyway, we’re spending money for what’s inside, so doesn’t that somehow entitle us to have our beverages commercial-free or at the very least collect rent on the supposedly valuable real estate? Charge us a dollar less and see how many more of your messages we’re willing to collectively sip. Until then, leave our suds alone, unless of course your tag line comes in a low fat version.

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