Coke eyes share in premium coffee market

Coca-Cola will go head to head with ready-to-drink coffee labels, with the launch of its premium Japanese brand, Georgia Coffee.

Founded in the late 90s by Coca-Cola Japan, the canned coffee boasts double the sales of the soda in the country in 2007. It entered the US market in 2009, where it was almost exclusively sold in restaurants.

This month, Coca-Cola's second coffee offering - the other is Illy Issimo - launched in Hong Kong to grab market share from its Japanese competitors and, of course, Nestlé.

Currently, the most commonly-seen canned coffees on the shelf include Mr Brown - owned by a Taiwanese manufacturer named King Can Company, Nestlé's Nescafé selections, Japanese-owned UCC and Parisian-based Fauchon - all of which do not have substantial marketing.

To make its brand known, Georgia Coffee launched 10-minute microfilm in addition to outdoor and print ads.

The message and intent of the microfilm are clear: though the drink is purely functional given that it's a product made for people on the go, it also wants to position itself as a premium brand that offers a moment of tranquil in the hustle and bustle of daily life.

A shortened version of the movie was broadcasted during Ching Ming Festival on TV and in cinemas, as well as a full-version of the film on YouTube and Facebook.

McCann, the agency behind the launch, also turned Festive Walk Page One's coffee shop into a Georgia Coffee café whereby every food purchase will come with a can of the drink. On-site activities like candle-making courses were also conducted.

"The idea was: when you drink a can of Georgia, you can escape away. And from escape, that's where we got the inspiration for this campaign," said Philip Tsang, group account director of McCann Erickson Hong Kong - the creative agency in charge of the campaign.