beverages

Eight O'Clock Partners On 'Friends' Anniversary

Eight O' Clock Coffee has partnered with Warner Bros. on a multi-pronged promotional campaign around the re-release of all 10 seasons of "Friends" on DVD and Blu-ray. The release and campaign are tied to  the 20th anniversary of the TV series' 1994 premiere.

Eight O'Clock has released a limited edition coffee dubbed Central Perk Roast, after the fictional Central Perk coffee shop featured in the show, with packaging that bears a photo of the "Friends" cast and a 20th anniversary logo. 

The coffee is being sold in grocery and mass retail channels across the country, and online at an Eight O'Clock microsite dedicated to the campaign. 

Consumers who buy the anniversary DVD collection and a bag (11 ounces or larger) of any variety of Eight O'Clock are eligible for a $3 mail-in rebate offer. 

The special edition coffee and other varieties of Eight O'Clock will also be served free (and will be available for purchase, along with "Friends"-themed merchandise) in a promotional Central Perk replica pop-up coffee shop that will operate between Sept. 17 and Oct. 18 at 199 Lafayette Street in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.

At the pop-up shop, fans of the series will be able to check out real props used in the show and get their photos taken while sitting on the orange couch used in the Central Perk set; order coffee off the chalkboard; participate in in-store promotions to win prizes; and catch weekly performances of "improvised" songs like those sung by the show's "Phoebe" character, and special appearances by actor James Michael Tyler, who played barista "Gunther" on the show. (Tyler also appeared on a "Today Show" segment promoting the show's anniversary and pop-up shop, on Sept. 15.) 

The campaign includes contests and giveaways through the end of September, with prizes including the DVD and Blu-ray sets, bags of Central Perk Roast and Eight O'Clock gift packs.

On Sept. 29, National Coffee Day, Eight O'Clock will host a full day of activities and giveaways at the pop-up shop, and its Facebook page will offer chances to win coffee prizes and a trip to Los Angeles to visit the Warner Bros. studios. 

The brand is also using its Twitter account to promote the pop-up shop and limited-edition coffee. 

Eight O'Clock's director of marketing, Alisa Jacoby, tells Marketing Daily that the brand, which implemented a refresh last year, now has a 74% ACV distribution base in the grocery channel. 

Tying in with "Friends" would seem a foolproof way to reach Millennial women — a primary target of the refresh — as well as those in the Gen Y and Gen X segments. 

As Michael Davies pointed out last year in Mail Online, Comedy Central (demographic: 16-34) has continued to air episodes of the show, which went off the air in 2004, multiple times per day. "Parents who loved the show in their 20s now sit down to watch the repeats with their teens, while students who were toddlers when it first aired proclaim their appreciation on Twitter as they become hooked on Ross and Rachel’s will-they-won’t-they storyline (even though they know the outcome)," he noted.

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