Mighty Joe and the Java highjack

This spring, war was declared in the Canadian coffee market.  McDonald's and Country Style couldn't compete with the big marketing bucks of Tim Horton's, so they used the big banner strategy against them.  While McDonald's gave away free coffee during breakfast hours, Country Style actually invited Roll Up the Rim "losers"  (please play again...and again and again and again) to bring in that little infuriatingly-messaged tab for a free java.

It's not big budget.  It's simple, creative and just the right amount of cheeky.  Enter: Consolation marketing.  (And bravo Rennick Marketing.) So why now and why this?

Last year Canadians bought 1.8 billion cups of coffee.  (Two percent less than the year before).  The market has matured.  How do you gain market share in a mature market? 

You steal it.

A lesson for marketers working for the big guy.  Creative competition doesn't care about market share.  Take your eye off building consumer loyalty and your competition will notice.  Or worse, your customers will.