Nespresso Convinces George Clooney to Appear in First US Ad

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Nespresso US George Clooney Danny DeVito commercial 2015

Keurig may dominate the North American market for single-serve coffee makers, but there’s one thing they don’t have—George Clooney. Now, Nespresso, which is owned by Nestle SA, is pulling out its biggest marketing push in North America to date with the help of the actor/director, who has promoted the brand in Europe since 2006.

The campaign marks Clooney’s first branded ad campaign in the US—which he agreed to in return for the brand committing to one of his causes, alleviating suffering in the Sudan.

Nespresso’s first US (and Canadian) ad campaign, “Training Day,” features Clooney clowning around with pal Danny DeVito, continuing a tradition that has seen Matt Damon and other celebs in his international Nespresso ads.

The US campaign includes television, print and digital advertisements, a partnership web film, social media and a microsite. In the 30- and 6-second versions of the TV spot (which will be released later today), Clooney teaches DeVito about having “good taste.”

George Clooney - Nespresso US North American TV spot 2015The synopsis: “Clooney is dressed in a war General costume in a movie studio commissary, lining up for coffee when he meets Danny DeVito, wearing a Napoleon costume. Danny is pouring himself a coffee from an antiquated coffee pot while George brews himself a fresh Nespresso. Danny, and various other characters in costume, is intrigued with George’s coffee selection and proceeds to ask Clooney to introduce him to Nespresso.

Clooney, in his characteristic wit and charm, agrees to train Danny in the art of good taste – from his coffee selection to the beauty of tango dancing to a finely tailored suit. In the end, George himself is even impressed. Through their entertaining and comedic interplay, Clooney and DeVito demonstrate how everyone can “Experience a cup above.”’

Per the press release, “The statement is an invitation into Nespresso’s elegant lifestyle and the company’s commitment to deliver the highest quality sustainable Grand Cru coffees to its consumers. Only 1-2 percent of the world’s coffee crops match the brand’s strict quality requirements and aroma profiles.”

The North American print ads, meanwhile, are all “about simplicity and contemporary sophistication. The setting is a modern living room in a luxury, sky-high city apartment. Clooney, in a grey suit, relaxes on an iconic lounge chair while he savors his Nespresso and takes in the view and the simple art of good taste.”

Nespresso is also running a new Clooney ad in Europe (called “Epiphany”) that stars Jack Black, which has its own dedicated microsite and social influencers and riffs on the brand’s long-running international tagline, “What Else?”

Attracting a cult following with its international ad campaign (watch below) in the US for fans of Clooney, the brand felt it was finally time to bring the star home.

“The US is so large that if we really want to get through, we need support and strong impact,” Nespresso CEO Jean-Marc Duvoisin told Bloomberg. “This is what we believe we’ll be getting with our campaign with George Clooney.”

Doing commercials once was frowned upon by big-name film actors, but that stigma has pretty much disappeared, Robert Thompson, head of Syracuse University’s Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture, told Bloomberg.

“TV ads are much hipper and much cooler than a decade ago,” he said. “I don’t think people feel an obligation to hide it.”

One of the plusses for the political Clooney in this deal is that it also includes him in an online film discussing how Nespresso supports farmers in the war-ravaged Sudan.

“I’ve been working with Nespresso internationally for nine years and I really love and respect the brand, what they do, and how they do it,” said Clooney in a press release. “Nespresso and I have a shared commitment to sustainability, most recently helping to rebuild coffee farms in South Sudan. They are an incredibly responsible company and I am excited to expand my partnership with them into the US.” (And Canada, by George.)

As the brand stated in its release:

Nespresso is committed to having a positive impact on the environment, farmers, consumers and society at large. As a member of the Nespresso Sustainability Advisory Board, George Clooney elaborates on Nespresso’s dedicated approach to coffee quality and sustainability and his involvement in Nespresso’s sustainability efforts in a partnership web film. In the film, Clooney discusses his decade-long collaboration with the brand, its positive impact on thousands of farmers and their communities, and the work being done in South Sudan to revive high quality coffee production.

“George Clooney has shown great interest in the lives of coffee farmers, and the initiatives Nespresso has undertaken to support them in producing high quality sustainable coffee and enhancing their welfare. He has been involved from the beginning in our efforts to revive high quality coffee production in South Sudan, which is contributing to economic development in the country” said Guillaume Le Cunff, President of Nespresso USA.

Clooney also discusses Nespresso’s robust recycling program and choice of infinitely recyclable aluminum for its capsules. It offers three different recycling options in the US, including 500 collection points across the country at Nespresso Boutiques and drop-off locations at select retail partners.

In addition, a UPS mailback program provides pre-paid recycling bags for consumers to mail back used capsules by dropping them off at one of the 88,000 UPS drop off locations across the country. Nespresso recently expanded its program with UPS from 20 to 48 states.

A behind-the-scenes look at the “Training Day” shoot in Los Angeles:

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