The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has launched what it calls the most comprehensive advertising campaign in its 51-year history.

The “Keep Cool and Summer On” campaign targets Millennials and encourages them to drink iced coffee and the chain’s signature Ice Blended drinks. It includes outdoor, radio, video, online banner ads and social media placements.

Wongdoody, Coffee Bean’s recently appointed ad agency, developed the campaign, which centers on the brand’s home market of Southern California, with outdoor advertising on billboards and bus shelters in the Los Angeles area. The main objective is brand growth.


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Coffee Bean touts Ice Blended drinks
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The chain had done more local marketing and social media in the past, Coffee Bean vice president of marketing Diane Kuyoomjian said.

“We don’t have a lot of traditional advertising,” Kuyoomjian said.

However, for this campaign, social media engagement and in-store marketing will be accompanied by outdoor advertising and radio ads, through the end of August.

The radio campaign, called “Always Better,” is a series of 30-second spots that invite listeners to imagine how great it would be if they were enjoying a Coffee Bean beverage. Each spot features a different beverage and scenario, such as an ingenious baby learning to take selfies, or being congratulated by the president of the United States for your athletic prowess.

On social media, Coffee Bean has commissioned five Vine users with a combined total of six million followers to shoot short videos showing the lengths they’ll go to for an Ice Blended drink. The chain is also posting instructions for customers to use the chain’s signature purple straw as a filter for their smartphone lenses and inviting them to take purple-tinted pictures to post on Instagram and Pinterest.

Additionally, embedded in some of the legal phrasing at the bottom of ads at certain bus shelters are promotional offers for discounted items. Guests are being encouraged on social media and through radio advertising to seek out those ads as a scavenger hunt.

Kuyoomjian wouldn’t say how much Coffee Bean was spending on the media campaign, but she said it would garner a total of 100 million “media impressions.”

Among the beverages featured in the campaign will be the Mudslide Ice Blended drink, which was introduced in May as a limited-time offer available through Sept. 1.  Caramel Brownie Ice Blended drink and two iced coffee flavors, vanilla and hazelnut, were also introduced at that time.



Kuyoomjian said Coffee Bean is also testing a new loyalty program in select locations in Los Angeles. Coffee Bean Rewards is a point-based system in which customers register with their phone number, by tying it to a gift card or by downloading a mobile app that also has a store locator and a mobile payment system.

Kuyoomjian said the advertising campaign came in the wake of private equity investment and management change at the company.

John Dawson became the chain’s president and chief executive in January, following the investment in the company last September by private equity firms Advent International, CDIB Capital and Mirae Private Equity. Dawson was formerly global development officer at Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc., and vice president of worldwide development at McDonald’s Corp. prior to that.

Kuyoomjian said the new ownership is committed to growing the brand, and that coffee and tea are both expanding categories that Coffee Bean feels well positioned to exploit.

“We have a great runway,” she said.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf introduced a new Ice Blended tea line in March called Tea Granita, available in Passion Fruit and Peary Berry flavors. The former is caffeinated Assam black tea and passion fruit flavor blended with ice, and the latter is a caffeine-free combination of the chain’s Swedish berries fruit infusion and pear flavor blended with ice. They are permanent additions to the chain’s offerings.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has 950 units.

Contact Bret Thorn at bret.thorn@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary