Folgers takes on its bad reputation with unapologetic new advertising campaign

“Over the last two years, we paired Jif with a hip-hop legend to help them with their new style of flow, positioned our Meow Mix cats in the biggest musical genres and put Café Bustelo, a bodega coffee brand, on the red carpet,” said Geoff Tanner, chief commercial and marketing officer at The JM Smucker Co. “This new Folgers campaign is just the latest example of the unapologetic, breakthrough creative that’s transforming the way we approach brand storytelling.”

Folgers is an iconic American brand with an iconic jingle, but when it comes to coffee, their reputation is a bit stale. The new campaign, per company officials, marks a reintroduction that will wake up a new generation of coffee lovers to what they’ve been missing. The new work strikes a radical tone filled with unapologetic pride. For the first time, Folgers is celebrating its expert craft, deep roots in New Orleans and 35 million drinkers (per IRI National Consumer Panel, for the 52 weeks ending 11 July 2021) who wake up to Folgers each year.

“We have heard from consumers that ‘Folgers is not for me,'” said Tanner. “In a competitive category that has dismissed the brand and labelled Folgers as their grandma’s coffee, we’re shaking things up by boldly choosing to overtly acknowledge any negative misperceptions and then loudly and proudly challenge them.”

Widely known for its tagline ‘The Best Part of Wakin’ Up®’, which launched in the early 80s, the Folgers jingle went on to become one of the most recognizable pieces of advertising in American culture. But this new work features a bold new sound featuring Joan Jett and the Blackhearts’ iconic track, “Bad Reputation.”

“The music complemented our desire to address people’s misperceptions about Folgers’ coffee head-on with a punk-rock rebelliousness that celebrates the swagger of our 35 million annual drinkers (per IRI National Consumer Panel, for the 52 weeks ending 11 July 2021) and continues to showcase the evolution of bold, unexpected creative across The JM Smucker Co portfolio,” says Erica Roberts, chief creative officer, PSOne, the bespoke agency solution for The JM Smucker Co. “There is no better song to convey that feeling than Bad Reputation.”

Folgers’ beans are toasted, roasted and tasted by highly trained master cuppers in New Orleans. The deep sense of pride for its city is inherent throughout the campaign, which features local legends like ‘Trombone Shorty’, who collaborated on the music track to give it an authentic New Orleans vibe, and a host of other NOLA natives, including Folgers employees. More importantly, it serves as a reflection of Folgers and the brand’s ever-present commitment to uplift its community.

Folgers is a leading employer in New Orleans with three manufacturing facilities in the area that provide more than 750 jobs to the local community. But Folgers doesn’t just employ generations of families, it also gives back to the community through volunteer and service work. After Hurricane Katrina, Folgers was one of the first major businesses to reopen within a month after the storm, providing a sense of rebuilding for the local community. These efforts have continued through relief funds, with more than USD $1 million dollars in donations to support local efforts and more than 25,000 hours of community service by passionate and proud employees. The plants are shut down multiple times throughout the year to allow employees to give back to the community personally in a variety of ways, including the rebuilding of homes. Since 2013, teams have supported the construction of nearly 80 homes for those in need.

“We are proud to call NOLA home and excited to recognize the great work of our employees in what’s to become the next evolution of Folgers,” says Emily Lucci, director of Folgers brand marketing, The JM Smucker Co. “In a city like New Orleans, everyone is a friend and friends are like family. We are a company that cares for each other and dedicated to delivering the great-tasting, high quality coffee for our consumers. This new campaign aims to share this message with the world.”

The campaign will be deployed across TV, online video, digital display, and streaming audio. #DamnRightItsFolgers is the pride-filled social and influencer campaign that leverages the 35 million annual Folgers drinkers (per IRI National Consumer Panel, for the 52we 11 July 21) to spread the word. Experiential activations are on the horizon as the campaign unfolds in 2022.

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