Gen Zers love coffee – especially when it fits into their dynamic, entrepreneurial and creative lifestyles. In fact, coffee-making was one of the top trends on TikTok in 2020 – the platform where these 18-to-24-year-olds are hanging out. But this generation hasn't got a preferred coffee brand yet.
Enter Costa Coffee. This was the perfect opportunity for the British coffeehouse to build long-lasting loyalty with Gen Z. After all, Costa comes in all kinds of ways – from in-shop Americanos to foamy hot chocolates from express machines, to caramel latte cans grabbed from shop fridges on the go.
Costa asked us to create a campaign that showed how their extensive range of innovative products and services could seamlessly blend into this audience’s unique and complex lifestyles.
We delivered The Costa For You – making Costa Coffee famous on TikTok with their first-ever campaign.
Forget hashtag challenges – we wanted to tap into the coffee shop brand’s innovative spirit and show up a little differently. So we took advantage of one of the native channel aspects: the For You Page (FYP) which holds a hyper-personal, curated selection of videos.
The campaign serves up the individual’s perfect Costa experience based on their TikTok browsing history, via in-feed ads on their For You Page. It’s brought to life via a collection of ‘FYP Decides’-style videos – a popular TikTok format where a person’s algorithm makes a choice for them through the content it serves them.
Costa Coffee is the first brand to hack TikTok’s algorithm and innovate on the platform by using the For You Page to target its audience.
To help us tell our audience about their ideal Costa experience, we personified the algorithm as a character by using a popular filter on TikTok.
We created 14 different executions, and each tapped into a different TikTok subculture, with the algorithm’s character shifting and changing to match the various tropes, trends and in-jokes of the TikTok world, as well as the relevant Costa Coffee products. Hugely entertaining, this also enabled Costa to build a genuine connection with its audience.
For example, anyone whose TikTok activity suggests they’ve been a little stressed lately will see ‘The Relaxation One’ where the algorithm spoofs ASMR creators to softly suggest a super-comforting, warm, frothy hot chocolate, delivered straight to their door via delivery.
Or for anyone tapping up TikTok for celebrity gossip, there’s ‘The Exclusive One’ where the algorithm takes on the role of a fast and furious reporter, to urge the viewer to get their hands on the latest ‘collab’ – the KitKat x Costa Coffee muffin.
And for nature lovers, ‘The Outdoorsy One’ showed the algorithm getting excited about cottagecore, and encouraging you to befriend all of the animals you encounter on a hike. All with a handy ready-to-drink can of Costa coffee, and an energy-giving jammy vegan flapjack, of course.
We also bolstered our campaign by enlisting influencers to create their own interpretation of the activities in our videos.
Unique users reached
Increase in followers to Costa's TikTok channel