Among specialty coffee roasters. Swiss Water is well known. Maybe too well known. Roasters were beginning to tune them out, while other, cheaper, decaffeination processes were nibbling at their heels. How do you reintroduce a brand to a notoriously ad repellant audience, apt to chase the latest shiny object?
The answer is squirrels, naturally.
There are cheaper ways to decaffeinate coffee. But after speaking with ultra-premium coffee roasters, we realized the money is secondary to the product. An incredible amount of time and effort (and money) is put into sourcing beans and protecting their unique flavor—one had flown to Ethiopia to oversee loading the beans onto a ship. So why were they cutting corners on decaffeination?
We decided to challenge the roasters and appeal to their finely tuned tastebuds.
To counter some misinformation courtesy of some less-than-natural competitors, we decided to play up the idea of "magic beans" — they might sound good in fairy tales, but if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Making great, authentic-tasting decaffeinated coffee requires science, not magic. Illustrations by Denis Zilber and Sergio Edwards brought the campaign to life.
The squirrel took on a life of its own, with a pin and eventually a campaign of his own, illustrated by Nadine Colin.