DTC coffee brand Trade brews virtual meetup in new video ad

Linda J. Dodson

Dive Brief:

  • Direct-to-consumer (DTC) subscription coffee service Trade released its first video ad highlighting the joys of getting together virtually for coffee during the coronavirus pandemic, the company shared with Marketing Dive. The spot was directed and edited remotely via video conference.
  • The brand worked with studio Cause & Effect to create the remote production, which shows a dozen Trade employees discussing the bizarre life of quarantining during the pandemic. Each person shot video from their phones, with a director providing direction from one of the video panels.
  • The ad shares information about Trade still delivering coffee from local roasters during the quarantine. Trade will donate $2 from the first bag in every order to support roasters and baristas affected by the closure of many coffee shops. The ads are slated to run on YouTube and streaming devices.

Dive Insight:

Trade’s message in its uplifting ad aims to build brand awareness by tapping into the current videoconferencing uptick caused by people getting together virtually on platforms like Zoom to work and socialize during the pandemic, which is forcing most people to stay at home.

The ad sends a positive message of acknowledging how weird the current times are, but tries to look on the bright side with the refrain, “at least we have coffee.” The DTC company is also using the spot to promote how it is financially assisting baristas and coffee shop employees who are out of work during the closure — a move that may appeal to consumers who want to help others in a time of need and purchase from brands that share their values.

Trade’s latest ad demonstrates a novel creative approach to production now that most studios are shut down. Director Micha Perta guided the people in the ad on how to film themselves with their phones in order to create the spot remotely, a new feat that many brands, agencies and production studios will need to figure out in order to continue business as usual during the pandemic. Ford, Toyota and Hyundai, for instance, used existing footage and recut the clips with new messages to produce fresh spots that better align with the current environment.

Overall, consumers want to hear how brands are addressing the coronavirus pandemic in advertising, according to a recent Ace Metrix report. The research found that 42% of people said “yes, any mention is OK” and another 44% saying it “depends on the message and/or brand.” Only 10% of consumers said it is not OK to discuss the current crisis in ads. Similarly, the 4A’s found that 56% of consumers are happy to hear how brands are helping out communities in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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