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Leo Burnett, McCafé and Coffee Madness

Coffee-drinking as we know it, first appeared in southern Arabia, known today as Yemen, in the 15th century. The Yemenis sourced their coffee beans from the Ethiopian Highlands and roasted and brewed them much like modern-day artisanal processes.

By the 1600’s, coffee-drinking had spread to Italy, followed by North Africa, and then to the rest of Europe, Indonesia and the Americas.

Coffee Cultivars

Coffee plants are now cultivated in over 70 countries, and based on source type, the global coffee market has been segmented into Arabica, Robusta, and Liberica, with Vietnam being the world’s largest Robusta producer.

Brazil however, producing 35% of the world’s total production, is the overall leader in coffee plantation cultivation.

Coffee Boutiques and Baristas

The emergence of trendy coffee shops in sophisticated metropolitans with their fastidious Baristas, and of course WiFi, have given rise to a global coffee culture of aficionados with lifestyle obsessions with the ‘bean’.

McCafé and Leo Burnett London decided it was time to have some fun with scenarios that send up Baristas and coffee pretentiousness.

Filmmaker Tony Barry directed the “No Frills Coffee At a Reasonable Price” campaign of commercials that are very amusing and eminently watchable.

1. McCafé, Ball Pit

Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, London, UK

The ‘Ball Pit’ scenario of a coffee-drinker’s hapless visit to a hipster coffee shop and charged an extortionist fee while bizarre events take place around her, makes for fun and rewarding viewing.

2. McCafé, Coffee Madness

Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, London

‘Coffee Madness’ is an entertaining parody of ‘urban hipster coffee culture’ with all its concocted pretentiousness.
Accompanied by a soundtrack of Jamaican singer Prince Buster’s appropriately titled song ‘Madness’, the commercial motivated over 500,000 views in the first couple of weeks after being released.

3. McCafé, Flat White Mystery

Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, London

The McCafé’s commercial introducing their ‘Flat White’ speciality coffee to their restaurants, involves a humorous take on solving the great ‘Flat White Mystery’.

(Spoiler: Australia’s popular ‘Flat White’ invention consists of a rich-roast Espresso topped with micro-foam.)

4. McCafé, We Could

Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, London, UK

Framestore Production Company’s Chris Barrett and Luke Taylor, the filmmaking duo who go by the name of ‘Us’, must have had great fun directing several filmic cliches McCafé could have depicted to hype-up their coffee offerings.

From a ubiquitous ‘artisanal’ rainforest scene, to a ‘bean’ crazed coffee-blender in a laboratory, the lineup of what McCafé didn’t choose to do, is entertaining to view, and very effectively underlines their ‘No Frills Coffee At a Reasonable Price’ brand proposition with a big smile.