Nescafé Dolce Gusto has launched its first U.S. Facebook page, with a campaign themed "Play With Your Coffee."
The theme spotlights the particularly wide range of "playful" black-cup and white-cup specialty coffee options that the system offers to the creative home barista.
Created by Cleveland-based agency Marcus Thomas, the Facebook campaign includes a photo-manipulation app that plays off trendy latte art, word games, recipes and a sweepstakes.
The app, "Latte Yourself," lets those who "like" the brand take any photo and make it look like the art that gourmet coffee shop baristas are now creating with foam on the surface of lattes. The self-created virtual art can be downloaded, posted to the fan's Facebook wall, or tweeted to friends.
In keeping with the "play" theme, the app is a fun way to engage and build buzz among coffee lovers, while also underlining the coffeehouse quality and versatility of the beverages that can be made with Dolce Gusto machines, says Marcus Thomas VP Michelle Venorsky. (Husband Jamie Venorsky, Marcus Thomas' creative director, created the Facebook campaign.) The coffee lovers who are the brand's audience are big at-home entertainers "into the tech aspects" of machines, such as Dolce Gusto's 15 bars of pressure (equivalent to or better than a coffee-house machine), she notes.
The Word Scrambles games are also designed to be enjoyed while sipping coffee. Fans can play solo, invite friends to compete, and save the games. In addition, each Wednesday, a top food blogger -- such as SteamyKitchen, Adam Roberts/"The Amateur Gourmet" and GoodLifeEats -- will offer a recipe that includes brewed coffee or is meant to go with it.
Another tab features a sweeps in which a Piccolo Dolce Gusto machine (retail value: $99.99) will be given away each week between April 14 and June 30.
Facebook text ads by OGM, launched last week, are driving traffic to the new Facebook page (which has drawn more than 7,300 fans in a few weeks). Online advertising will be extended to targeted sites around Mother's Day and Father's Day, according to Venorsky.
Additional marketing elements around the "Play With Your Coffee" theme are planned for later in the year, she adds.
Nescafé Dolce Gusto, a leading self-serve system in Europe and other markets, was launched in the U.S. by the Nestlé USA Nescafe division in fall 2009. The brand's marketing has thus far included print and broadcast advertising, blogger outreach, events and a Twitter presence, in addition to a "robust" site, says Venorsky.