Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

An instant coffee for an instant connection? A “Press Together” button was all it took to do that! [Fridays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

October 22, 2021

It was another typical morning in Frankfurt, Germany. 

Hundreds of commuters were waiting for the pedestrian traffic light to turn green so they could cross the road―no talking, no smiling. 

While waiting… 

Some of them noticed a new, bright red box installed on the pole where the usual pedestrian crossing button is placed. The box had a push-the-button indication on it. 

Little did these commuters know that this newly installed tool would give them a not-so-typical morning of their lives! 

Nescafé is a coffee brand made by the multinational food and drink conglomerate, Nestlé

The brand name is a portmanteau of the words “Nestlé” and “café,” and is known for creating ads and marketing campaigns associated with starting the day right and establishing positive connections with people. 

To get commuters in Frankfurt to interact with each other even just for a brief moment and start their day with good vibes, Nescafé created a campaign that associated coffee with personal connections. 

It was called… 

The Nescafé Instant Connections campaign! 

Conceptualized with the help of advertising agency OgilvyOne in March 2015, the brand activation invited commuters on opposite sides of the road to push a “press together” button on Nescafé’s red device. 

At first, commuters thought it was just a regular pedestrian crossing button… but pressing the button ALONE didn’t do the trick! 

First try – nothing happened. 

Second try – nothing happened. 

Third try – still, nothing happened. 

Hmm… what could be the reason for that? 

As commuters studied the red device, they found out there was a small monitor on top of it, showing the person on the other side of the road. That’s when everything clicked. 

The reason why the instruction on the box said “press together” was because they had to push the button at the same time! 

Once an “instant connection” between strangers was made, the machine opened up to offer a just-brewed cup of coffee for free. 

This simple act of pressing the button TOGETHER brightened up commuters’ days and enabled them to engage not only with Nescafé’s campaign, but also with each other. The pairs even smiled and quickly greeted one another as they met in the middle of the road. 

Nescafé and OgilvyOne’s campaign team installed hidden cameras in the areas where they placed the bright red boxes. This enabled them to film commuters’ reactions and compile the footage into one campaign video, which ended with the coffee brand’s global strapline, 

“It all starts with a Nescafé.”  

The campaign team uploaded the “Nescafé Instant Connection” video on YouTube and on Nescafé’s Facebook page. 

Was the “Nescafé Instant Connection” campaign effective? 

According to Michael Chrisment, Global Head of Integrated Marketing for Nescafé, the campaign reflected the “REDvolution strategy” that aligns all Nescafé products and brand marketing across 180 markets. 

In his words, 

“We are delighted to have triggered so many spontaneous social interactions that otherwise would not have happened. A great cup of Nescafé is a natural way to start real connections, and we wanted to bring this to life in an unexpected, innovative, and enjoyable way.” 

These were the results of the “Nescafé Instant Connection” campaign: 

  • On the first day of the brand activation, 600 commuters connected with each other over a cup of Nescafé coffee. 
  • After a week, the campaign video garnered over 85,000 views on YouTube and more than 1 million views on Facebook. 
  • The campaign led to 33 high-fives, 285 waves, 839 smiles, and countless conversations between commuters. 
  • According to OgilvyOne’s case study about the campaign, Nescafé’s sales in Germany got 4 times higher in the first quarter of 2015 (after the campaign) compared to the brand’s sales in the fourth quarter of 2014 (before the campaign). 

Through this brand activation, Nescafé pushed the idea that coffee has the power to connect people and create instant connections between strangers! 

As a business owner or marketer, what can you learn from the “Nescafé Instant Connection” campaign? 

First, experiential marketing, a form of advertising that helps consumers experience a brand, is a good way to connect with your target market and leave a lasting brand recall in their minds. 

When you link your brand with an emotional appeal that a lot of customers can relate to, you not only effectively promote your business but also provide consumers with an actual experience that they’ll always remember. 

… and the more positive consumers’ experiences there are while interacting with your campaign, the higher the chance that they’ll buy from you and help spread the word about your brand! 

Second, when you plan a guerrilla marketing campaign, don’t just focus on the actual promotion of your product or service. Emphasize a relevant human element too, or a human connection that will compel your target market to interact with your brand. 

Get inspired with Nescafé’s feel-good campaign! 

Unleash your creativity and execute a fun and engaging guerrilla marketing campaign that will instantly connect your brand with your target market!

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Fridays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”

Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”

Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.

Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers, and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.

Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.

This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.

It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).

Guerrilla Marketing can be inexpensive.

The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.

This is every business’ or brand’s dream!

Every Friday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.

Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.

Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.

Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Friday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla!


Kyle Yu 
Head of Marketing 
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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