Short List
Product / ServiceNESTLE
CategoryC01. Online Ad

The Campaign

Every day around one billion videos are watched online in China. Each usually starts with an ad, which 87% of consumers dislike. Not such a “good start”, huh? So Nescafe, keen to provide “good starts” to consumers wherever possible, got rid of these ugly pre-roll ads, replacing them to a single 5-second spot on Youku (China’s version of Youtube), with play button in the iconic red mug, along with the message "It all start with a Nesface." Instead of interrupting the experience, Nescafe had provided a pleasant start to whatever it was the viewer was looking forward to. The brand fit right in... just like a cup of coffee in the morning.

Creative Execution

Bucking the trend of garish and ugly pre-roll ads, Nescafe kicked off viewing experiences in China with something pleasant: A 5-second pre-roll “ad” on China’s largest online TV platform, Youku (China’s Youtube). The ad ran in late April 2017, and were shared online afterward.

The ad achieved some of Nescafe’s highest online TV ROI to date in China. The ads went out to 3000 consumers from between the hours of 7am and 9am. Nescafe? had one of its strongest sales seasons, demonstrating that sometimes the simplest innovations are the most striking. The message was the medium, the medium was the message.

According to eMarketer, Chinese internet users spend 80 minutes per day watching online video, which makes up 16% of their leisure time. There’s no doubt that online TV is the place to be for brands. Yet this is something all brands, especially local competitors with huge budgets, have realized. Nescafe is hugely outspent on this battleground. The result for consumers? A ton of ads... most of which people hate. In fact, 87% of consumers in China felt negative when ads play as pre-roll. The brand, which believes “good things start with a Nescafe”, didn’t want so much consumers’ online viewing experience to start badly, which is why they launched the “red button” – a better start to the viewing experience. The brand fit right in, just like a great cup of coffee kicks of a great day in the morning. The message was the medium, the medium was the message.


Name Company Position
Doug Schiff Ogilvy Beijing Executive Creative Director
Wang Fei Ogilvy Beijing Head of Art
Teng Teong Hoe Ogilvy Beijing Group Creative Director
Eric Wu Ogilvy Beijing Creative Technology Leader
Jeremy Webb Ogilvy Beijing Vice President
Yanan Xin Ogilvy Beijing Senior Consultant
Lulu Liu Ogilvy Beijing Senior Associate
Corinna Tian Mindshare Manager strategic planning
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