Love Letter to Costa Coffee
My Dear Costa,
I hope this message finds you well. Thought I’d write to ask how you’re doing, after the #CrimesAgainstCoffee campaign last week. It came to my attention via a tweet from an independent café in my local area. Seems they took umbrage at your offer to swap an “average coffee”, for a free Costa coffee.
— cricklewood coffee (@nw2coffee) October 30, 2017
It’s not like you to throw shade at the local competition – you sell beans wholesale! I know you threw open the invitation to your roastery, but if you call people “Coffee Wannabes”, who would accept?
On of the best examples of ‘pot calling kettle’ I’ve seen in a while pic.twitter.com/IjoxZRPHcS
— Lupus (@LupusLondonwolf) 25 October 2017
You’re not silly – every day you welcome coffee fans inside your premises – I cannot believe this campaign was really directed at the independents. So what was this really about?
The article by Hospitality & Catering News magazine about the one day promotion, featured a quote from Jason Cotta, your UK & Ireland Managing Director. I’m wondering if Jason might have revealed the intended target:
“Despite what other companies may say.
We don’t believe great coffee is simple.”
Simple. That word rather stuck out like a sore thumb. Could it be that your campaign was a reaction to the recent TV advert, by one particular high street competitor?
You’re usually so laid back and classy Costa – I think of you as a tasty hazelnut latte, comfy sofa and giver of book awards. This promotion just wasn’t your style – it seemed so uncharacteristically negative, and even a bit aggressive at times.
The one-day-only duration of the offer, might well be counted as a blessing – I dread to think what might have happened to your brand reputation, if the campaign had achieved greater reach. At best, this initiative seems badly conceived, and at worst, it directly backfired on you.
Costa sucks! I honestly prefer McDonalds coffee. It’s a lot cheaper and tastes pretty good!
— Major Ward (@LeadfootedLion) 25 October 2017
I can imagine how you might feel about the McDonald’s advert, not to mention the market share. You could have chosen to reply with good humour, rather than reacting with a grumpy face.
Costa – your fans love you dearly – you don’t need to shout out your superiority through advertising – we will do it for you! All you need to do, is shape your Social Media campaign so it will inspire, mobilise and reward customers.
Anyway, if you need to talk about it, I’m always here for you.
Emma Jane x
Updated 4pm 09/11/17
P.S. Turns out, I was right. Just stumbled across a Youtube video, featuring Jason Cotta, which opens with “Dear Baristas”. The 3 minute monologue directly calls out McDonald’s as one source of “mediocre coffee” on the high street, and refers them as McCharlatans(!). Perhaps most interestingly, the video is Unlisted – i.e. it does not appear on the Costa Coffee Youtube Channel, so this video can only be watched by those who have been sent the link directly.