Caribou Ad Backfiring

November 12, 2009

Remember the post about Caribou drink ad? see here

Here's what the ad "says"

The chocolate drink in the new ad for Caribou Coffee looks mighty yummy. It's piled high with whipped cream and studded with chocolate shavings. In Caribou's "Get Real: Chocolate" ad, a pair of obnoxious marionettes sitting on a bench in a mall, wonder why they never get to drink anything as tasty as that Caribou mocha.

"Because we're not real," says the annoying male marionette to the annoying female marionette.

Instead, the ad uses a tortured visual metaphor that distracts the viewer from drooling over the drink to puzzling over the ad's logic. The marionettes are supposed to represent snobs. The coffee cups by their sides have round, green logos that suggest Starbucks — even though there's not a coffee snob alive who doesn't call the stuff "Charbucks." When the snobs notice the Caribou drink, they desire it. So why can't they buy one? Don't snobs just take what they want and immediately adjust their rationale to fit? If their snobbery makes them drink inferior brands of coffee, then they're not really snobs. Fools, maybe. The snobby guy marionette says that the reason they can't have the clearly superior drink is because "we're not real." So … they aren't coffee snobs? They're phantoms? If snobbery means you're not "real," then why is Caribou playing the snob card, too, by declaring that its chocolate coffee drinks are superior?

This ad's indirect attack on Starbucks has bought it more pain than good.

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