Second City’s coffee sleeve-vertising buzz

In a three-fleet campaign promoting the comedy theatre on a 'java jacket,' Second City will put its brand in the hands of more than 200,000 Torontonians.

After Erin Peirce, Second City sales and marketing manager, noticed a colleague’s coffee sleeve promoting a local theatre in Toronto one morning, she found Fairway Media Sales, a Toronto and Vancouver-based alternative OOH company that works with local shops to place brands on coffee sleeves.

Currently, Second City is in the midst of a branding campaign on the ‘java jackets’ of cups distributed throughout the downtown Toronto core. It’s phase two of a three-fleet promo, the last of which will launch in September as a corporate branding campaign for the holiday season, says Peirce.

‘When I walk through the PATH to get to work, and I see people carrying the sleeve around – that’s successful to me,’ Peirce says. But success can also be measured through the number of redemptions of a discount UPC promo on the sleeves, she adds, as well as the fact that the theatre’s sales have been steady since last year.

Nancy Green, who started Fairway Media Sales in 2004, says the medium’s effectiveness comes from being literally in the target’s hands for however long it takes to caffinate. ‘I don’t think it gets any more powerful than that,’ she tells MiC. The company works with a network of coffee shops across Canada, about 150 in the GTA alone.

The Second City creative will be placed on more than 200,000 sleeves, Green says. A campaign for about 40 cases of sleeves (50,000 cups) starts at $10,000, and Green estimates about four impressions per sleeve. Past advertisers include Rogers Wireless, Cadbury and Royal Bank. Green is able to target demos according to coffee shop locations. For instance when one client wanted to target blue-collar entrepreneurs, she placed the sleeves in drive-up shops in stripmalls as opposed to office tower buildings.