Musical brand

Folgers takes to classic rock to try and improve the brand

Diving brief:

  • Folgers, the coffee brand of JM Smucker Co., comes out with a new campaign which abandons its emblematic “The Best Part of Wakin’ Up” jingle used since the 1980s and replaces it with “Bad reputation“, a 1980 song by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, according to details shared with Marketing Dive.
  • The campaign recognizes that the brand has a reputation for being grandma’s cafe and tries to reposition it for a younger generation interested in high-end home coffee. The effort will be deployed across television, online video, digital signage and audio streaming. A social media extension includes the hashtag #DamnRightItsFolgers.
  • As well as replacing a jingle that has become a widely recognizable advertisement, the 170-year-old brand is also playing a connection to New Orleans, where it claims to be a top employer. Experiential activations loom on the horizon as the campaign unfolds in 2022.

Overview of the dive:

Changes in how people drink coffee since the start of the pandemic two years ago are late Folgers’ decision to shake up his cozy image. As fewer people drank coffee on the way to work, home brewing choices have become more selective as many coffee drinkers become more interested in the source of the beans and how they are turned into an attractive drink.

The Folgers refresh comes on the heels of several other recent brand updates by M&M’s, Coca-Cola and Anheuser-Busch, a flurry of activity reflecting how marketers are trying to respond to significant consumer shifts over the past two years. JM Smucker Co.’s move also follows recent moves the company has made to attract the attention of younger generations. Last year he joined JIF Peanut Butter with hip-hop legend Ludacris. Earlier, he put his Café Bustelo on the red carpet for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s film “In the Heights,” and he put his Meow Mix cats in big music genres along the way.

“[The campaign is] just the latest example of the unapologetically groundbreaking creative that is transforming the way we approach brand storytelling,” said Geoff Tanner, chief commercial and marketing officer at JM Smucker, in a press release.

JM Smucker is in good company and focused on updating his jingle. Brands have revamped jingles as music takes a bigger place in marketing efforts in the age of digital streaming. The classic jingle has been declared dead by some in the industry as more brands license songs from recording artists. And yet, some marketers are using jingles to create stronger sonic identities as more consumers listen to podcasts and music on platforms that run ads.

For Folgers, his musical choice is designed to support the brand’s message that coffee is bolder than some think.

“[The new ad’s music] complemented our desire to address people’s misconceptions about Folgers Coffee with a punk-rock rebellion that…continues to show the evolution of bold and unexpected creation. There’s no better song to convey that feeling than ‘Bad Reputation,'” said Erica Robert, creative director at PSOne, the agency behind the Folgers campaign.

The new campaign also reflects a sense of pride in New Orleans, where Folgers beans are roasted and roasted, and features local legends like Trombone Shorty, who collaborated on the music track. The video is filled with Big Easy natives, including Folgers employees, going about their day while drinking coffee.

By the way, last October an anonymous person bought the “Waking Up” jingle for $90,500, which puts them in a position to earn lifetime royalties each time the jingle is used. In 2020, the jingle grossed nearly $12,000. In the previous decade, he had earned $38,000.