Creative & Tech

Kahlúa Follows Up ‘Caramel Encounters’ with Tabloid Takeover and ‘Celebrity’ Dating Scandal

June 17, 2016

Star Magazine has the scoop! Kahlúa is making headlines again this summer with a new campaign that leverages strong media-minded creative to tempt millennials into adding Kahlúa to their iced coffee.

For year two of Kahlúa’s Caramel Encounters campaign, 360i was tasked with creating an even bigger splash, leading the team to concept around traditionally buzzy cultural storylines – and what’s more splash-worthy than a celebrity dating scandal? The 2.0 version of Caramel Encounters follows a typical celebrity dating scandal timeline and centers around the sensationalized relationship between Virgin Iced Coffee, Kahlúa Salted Caramel and Original Kahlúa. This fully integrated campaign blends a strong combination of media-minded creative ideas with creative media choices to follow a classic cultural story arc. The resulting campaign represents the best of strategy, media, creative, social and influencer marketing coming together to bring a fun, wacky and steamy brand story to life.

In order to mimic traditional celebrity dating drama, the campaign kicked off with a gossip-trade-style teaser video that subtly previewed the scandal to come- Virgin Iced Coffee had been seen blending with Original Kahlúa instead of Kahlúa Salted Caramel! From there, we partnered with celebrity tabloid magazines Star, Radar, and OK! to release “leaked” footage of the rumored new couple and report on the troubled love triangle. With two videos of Virgin Iced Coffee caught mixing with Original Kahlúa leaked on all three magazines’ websites, there is no avoiding or discounting the story.

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As with any celebrity scandal, this story will continue to develop over the next couple of weeks as new information surfaces. Influencer Jorge Munoz will release an “apology video” publicly taking credit for capturing and leaking the footage of Virgin Iced Coffee and Original Kahlúa. In response, Kahlúa will claim that these were “private moments” of the couple that were “never meant to get out.” Last but not least, a cover spot on Star Magazine will point readers to a scandalous two-page editorial spread chronicling the love triangle.

The “Caramel Encounters 2.0” campaign demonstrates the strength of thinking outside traditional media forms to bring a creative idea to life. By aligning a creative-driven media plan with the creative idea, 360i was able to create a dynamic campaign that builds off of last year’s concept and builds off of itself as the storyline progresses. The teaser video alone is already seeing an engagement rate of 39.31%, which, at 94% above the general Facebook benchmark, indicates that the storyline is resonating with consumers.

Stay tuned for more drama this summer from Kahlúa and follow Star for updates on how Kahlúa Salted Caramel is taking the news.