Whether or not you can stomach its cheesy jingles, it is hard to
deny that Nescafe has established the highest profile of any coffee
brand in the UK.
And the size of Nestle’s budget might have something to do with it. The
corporation is the UK’s 22nd biggest advertiser, and spent more than
pounds 25 million on advertising the coffee brand in 1999 through
Since its launch in 1938, Nescafe has become the UK’s market leader.
Nestle claims 3,000 cups of the instant beverage are drunk across the
world every second.
Nescafe has a strong history of product innovation, from the launch of
freeze-dried soluble coffee in 1965, to the introduction of granules in
1974. And the company has been happy to maintain a number of sub-brands
under the Nescafe umbrella.
There are no less than 14 Nescafe coffee brands in the UK, from Nescafe
Original to Nescafe Metropolis, Nescafe Cappuccino and Nescafe Gold
This innovation has been reflected in the brand’s strong advertising
campaigns, from the Gareth Hunt and Una Stubbs ’bean shake’ TV
commercials of the late 70s, to the famous Gold Blend series that
developed into a ten-year advertising soap opera.
Nescafe has a clear preference for the broadcast media. Its TV and
outdoor spend in 1999 totalled pounds 12.3 million and pounds 9.9
million respectively, representing a huge chunk (more than 80 per cent)
of the total media budget. Press and radio accounted for just pounds 1.8
million and pounds 1.1 million respectively.
There was minimal use of direct mail but door-drops were more
There was no cinema advertising in 1999.
In terms of its seasonal focus, most spend was concentrated in January
(pounds 3.7 million), April (pounds 3 million) and September (pounds 4.4
million), with the remaining pounds 14.1 million spread fairly evenly
throughout the year.
Looking at TV and radio in 1999, the brands that got the greatest
expenditure were Nescafe Original (pounds 8 million), Gold Blend (pounds
3.93 million), Black Gold (pounds 93,000) and Cappuccino Sachets (pounds
Advertising was spread across 57 radio stations and more than 100 TV
channels and regions. The most popular TV channels were Carlton,
Central, Meridian and Sky 1. Radio spend was concentrated on Capital
95.8 FM and Virgin 1215 AM National, with significant campaigns also
running on Clyde 1 FM, Heart 100.7 FM and Magic 105.4 FM.
What of the future? The web is bound to affect traditional relationships
between packaged goods manufacturers, retailers and consumers. Nescafe
has launched a franchised chain of coffee houses called Cafe Nescafe in
a bid to reinforce its relationship with consumers by offering flavoured
and iced coffees - a trend that looks set to continue.
Research by AC Nielsen MMS, telephone: 01344-627553