Boss Coffee: Alien’s Communication Skills

Coffee has become a staple for many white collar workers. Whether you like to make it yourself, buy a fresh one in Starbucks or grab a canned one from the convenience store, everyone could easily get one to ease their caffeine addiction or as quick fix to refresh their minds.  

It is precisely because drinking coffee has become a common demand in our daily lives that more and more brands throw themselves in the market for a piece of share. If you want to stand out in this fiercely competitive market, you need to have big idea to steal the spotlight. There is one particular brand in Japan has been consistently outstanding in its marketing performance—Boss Coffee.    

The Right  

Japanese people have a weirdly wonderful way of doing marketing, they love celebrity endorsement. When you turn on the TV, even though you can’t understand a word of Japanese, but you would definitely recognize those familiar faces, Japanese, American, French or even Korean celebrities! It doesn’t matter which country they are from, as long as they are famous and internationally recognized. Hiring a celebrity to endorse your product is a shortcut to drawing in audiences. Celebrities have certain popularity and images they project. If you combine it well, consumers will associate it with your product in no time. Boss Coffee belongs to Suntory group. They spent handsome amount of money to invite the male leading actor in the movie MIB, Tommy Lee Jones as their image ambassador. Their most notable advertising piece is the ‘Alien Jones Investigating Earth’ series.

▲French actor, Jean Reno acted as Doraemon to endorse for ReBorn series of Toyota.   

The first commercial was set in a fast food restaurant, starting from a dialogue between two white collar workers:    “I heard that aliens changed themselves into human beings to have a normal life, do you know? ” “Nope” “I heard that they are investigating earth. After watching one movie, one alien changed himself into Tommy Lee Jones. Hahaha.” Subtitle: Alien Jones Investigating Earth Jones’ narration: “Residents on this planet are missing something, however, the sunrise on this planet is beautiful.”   This series started in 2006 and have released over 30 TV commercials so far. The structure of each commercial is the same where Jones experiences a job and announces his observation on his investigated objects.  

Example: Young construction worker.

Setting: At the construction site. Jones leans next to a small truck and is sawing the log, experiencing the life of a blue collar worker. The supervisor was scolding a young worker, “How many times do I have to teach you the same thing? If you don’t want to do it, then don’t bother to come tomorrow!”

Subtitle: Alien Jones Investigating Earth

Jones’ narration: On this planet, people always criticize harshly on a group of people called the ‘youngsters’.

Jones was listening to the scolding and didn’t pay attention to his excessive sawing and ended up sawing off the loading deck of the small truck. The next day, Jones was also fired and he grabbed a can of Boss Coffee to give to the young man. The young man whimpered, “I’ve never been scolded before, it’s actually kind of nice.” Jones’ narration: “The young people on this planet are quite complicated.”

▲Jones experiences each vocation, observing earthling’s life.

▲Jones practiced as an unlicensed doctor and was caught.  

Creating Something Irreplaceable  

Boss Coffee did not mention the features of its product throughout the commercials because they know ‘good taste’ is just the prerequisite for selling coffee. If you don’t even have that, marketing can only do so much wonder!    Coffee is a product that is hard to differentiate among brands. The charm of the product alone is not enough, the brand must create something emotional or sentimental to close the gap between the brand and the consumers. Boss Coffee plays this rule to the Ts. This series of commercials are like slices of life, added with Jones’ humor and somewhat philosophical narration, it is very easy to strike a chord with the audiences. Consumers would feel that ‘you really get me’ and that is the irreplaceable charm of a brand.    

——– About Author  

Mika, Internet Marketing Observer

Born in the 60s, Mika has worked in the field of consumption marketing for decades. He experienced brand strategy, product concept all the way to official launch. He cares about traditional marketing model as well as the changes arise from Web2.0 and social media.  
Blog: jabamay.blogspot.com


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