In an age where you can find a Starbucks on every block and a trendy café frequented by coffee snobs who wouldn't be caught dead in a Starbucks on every other block, the task of making old-school home-brewed coffee appear even remotely cool would seem nearly impossible. And that, presumably, is why Maxwell House isn't even trying.
The 122-year-old, Kraft-owned brand is undergoing a major overhaul in its marketing strategy. But instead of attempting to remake itself into some sort of hip Starbucks alternative—"Hey millennials, these coffee grounds are turnt up!"—Maxwell House borrowed from its own classic "Good to the last drop" slogan to come up with a core message that its product is, well, good.
Seem a bit underwhelming? That's the point, according to the middle-aged everyman protagonist in a trio of TV spots. You see, he tells us, we've gotten so caught up in superlatives—"Awesome," "Amazing," "That's epic, bro"—that we've forgotten the merits of just being good.
"Good is setting a personal best before going for a world record," the Maxwell House man explains. "Good is swinging to get on base before swinging for a home run." And in case the viewer interprets this to mean that Maxwell House coffee maybe isn't so good, the man takes a sip of his steaming cup of joe at the end and begins to proclaim it to be "Great!" before stopping himself and reverting to the more on-message "Good."
A social media element includes a new Twitter handle, @AGoodCoffee, which spouts forth gems of wisdom such as "The good thing about Mondays is that if they didn't exist we'd all hate Tuesdays." But judging by the TV spots, the target audience here isn't the youth of America. It's their dads (and moms, presumably, although we have yet to see a woman make an appearance in the campaign).
So kudos to Maxwell House for accepting that instant coffee isn't going to be the next Skrillex, and instead settling for "good." We appreciate your honesty.
Client: Maxwell House
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy
Creative Directors: Eric Baldwin / Karl Lieberman
Copywriter: Matt Mulvey
Art Director: Lawrence Melilli
Producer: Shelley Eisner
Account Team: Ken Smith / Ryan Peterson
Business Affaires: Cindy Lewellen
Project Management: Shannon Hutchinson
Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples / Susan Hoffman / Mark Fitzloff
Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz
Production Company: MJZ
Director: Steve Ayson
Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson
Line Producer: Martha Davis
Director of Photography: Alwin Kuchler
Editorial Company: Joint
Editor: Tommy Harden
Post Producer: Ryan Shanholtzer
Post Executive Producer: Patty Brebner
VFX Company: The Mill
VFX Supervisor: Tim Davies/Phil Crowe
Flame Artist: Billy Higgins/John Price
VFX Producer: Dan Roberts/Sue Troyan
Titles/Graphics: WK Studio & The Mill
Music+Sound Company: Tonefarmer/740 Sound
Composer: Ray Loewy/Jimmy Harned// mnemonic – Dan Sammartano/Joe Spallina
Sound Designer: Rommel Molina/Scott Ganary
Producer: Liz Higgins – Tonefarmer/ Jeff Martin – 740 Sound
Mix Company: Eleven
Mixer: Jeff Payne