Kenco Vs Gangs: The Coffee Giant Tackle Gang Crime In Hondurans

by Sep 18, 2014

What is Kenco’s latest ad really saying? Vanessa dives in.

Coffee (the world’s second most tradable commodity, and a product with a huge profit margin) has proven itself to be a lucrative industry. If you’re Mr Starbucks or one of his handful of successful friends, you’re laughing all the way to the bank. But what’s the reality behind such a burgeoning business?

The coffee supply chain is flawed. With only a measly 10% of the retail price going to the third world coffee farmers the coffee giants are raking in the cash with what seems no or very little consideration for the grounds on which their profit is grown.

This truth is, of course, hidden snugly behind the pull of caramel frappuwappucinos and (the wrong) names scrawled on cups. So it’s incredibly rare for a coffee company to stick their head above the parapet and communicate to this effect. However, that’s what Kenco are doing in their latest campaign: showing how their presence in Honduras actually carries a positive benefit.

Kenco 2

The story is about Kenco giving kids who would otherwise drift into gang life a choice by training them to be coffee farmers instead. A worthy cause that no doubt gives people a reason to choose beyond price when there is little else to help you in the coffee aisle. It may be a clever bit of CSR, but the execution is gritty and dark with a brilliant use of tattoo animation and, most of all, I was keen to find out more. From the moment I saw the ad I fell in love. The grittiness of the scenes that you see are not staged either, the film was directed by Johnny Hardstaff and most of the actors were street-cast from the locations where shooting took place in order to ensure authenticity.

Kenco 3

Full of beautiful imagery you can almost forgive that the website isn’t quite as slick as perhaps it should be coming from JWT. There’s plenty of brilliant content there though – and users can follow the latest from the farm through instagram (here), to meet the people and hear their stories.

Emad Nadim, brand manager, Kenco said it is a potentially brand-changing project:

“The advert has a completely new look and feel to what people are used to from Kenco, but it embodies the seriousness of life in Honduras. I strongly believe this Kenco ad pushes the boundaries of coffee advertising and brand transparency, above the norm of smiling people holding steaming cups of coffee,”

A job well done Kenco and JWT, you’ve not only engaged a new audience by making this a must-see ad, you’ve highlighted that there is a genuinely powerful story to tell behind our morning “ahhhs” that should be heard.

Visit the rather lovely site here or watch the ad here.


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About Vanessa Toby

Vanessa is a keen traveller with no sense of direction. She has an insatiable love of fashion and a spare room full of shoes she has hoarded over the years. If Vanessa isn’t taking over the New Business world at work, you will find her trying out your new favourite exercise class. As a strong believer in the importance of a healthy work-life balance you will find her documenting mind and body advice and top tips.