Folgers Coffee Paper

May 9, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: History, European History, Europe (1815-1915), Industrial Revolution
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Folgers Coffee Campaign Molly Rashoff, Ben Newby, Ben McBride, and Jeff Lass Central Washington University


Folgers Coffee Campaign The Folgers Coffee journey started in 1850 in San Francisco, California. In 1849 James A. Folger and his two older brothers left their home of Nantucket, Massachusetts and headed to the west coast to mine for gold. Having money problems, 15-year-old James stayed in San Francisco to work for his travel costs while his brothers continued to search for gold in the mines. In 1850, a 27-year-old entrepreneur named William H. Bovee was in search of a carpenter to build a mill in San Francisco, which would be called The Pioneer Steam Coffee and Spice Mills. James Folger was a skilled carpenter and was hired to build the mill. Though this was not Folger’s coffee yet, one day this coffee and spice mill would take the name that we see in stores today. At the time that James started working for Bovee, the only coffee available was roasted coffee. Ground coffee was non-existent on a wholesale level. After working for nearly a year for William Bovee, James had made enough money to continue on searching for gold. James brought samples of Bovee’s coffee and spices on his trip and took orders from grocery stores. Finally returning to San Francisco in 1865, James became a full partner of The Pioneer Steam Coffee and Spice Mills. 7 years later in 1872 James bought out The Pioneer Steam Coffee and Spice Mills and renamed the company J.A. Folger & Co. James died in 1889 at the age of 51. His oldest son James A. Folger II had worked for the company for 7 years and was 26 when his father passed. James II became the president of J.A. Folger & Co. The company instantly expanded. The company sold bulk-roasted coffee to grocery stores, which was stored in bins so that the customer would be able to scoop out the coffee. The company produced different grades of coffee and sold it separately under various labels. The most expensive kind was called Folgers Golden Gate Coffee.


Folgers ran different ads through newspaper and such but their big campaigns started in the 1960’s. Peter Folger was the owner of the Folgers Company at this time and he was looking to get his coffee out to a larger demographic. The campaign grew over time and advertisement agency Saatchi and Saatchi became Folgers main ad makers. Though the campaign grew and changed to focus on different demographics as times changed the purpose of Folgers entire campaign remained the same. From the 1960’s when the Folgers campaign started to the 1980’s when the Folgers jingle was created; Folgers was looking to get the coffee out to different and larger demographics. Folgers wanted their coffee to be the only coffee people thought of when they went to the grocery store. They wanted wives to think it’s the only coffee that would make their husbands happy in the 60’s, and when the idea of housewives changed they changed the purpose to being the only coffee people thought of to wake them up to having a good day. Folgers made their ads and started a campaign taking off and making their coffee expand. Throughout the 1900’s the Folgers Company thrived. The company hired salesman Frank P. Atha. His job was to sell coffee in the North Beach area of California. After working more than a year Atha recommended that he open and manage a coffee plant in Texas. The business ended up growing immensely and by the second year he was able to hire more salesmen and rent more space. In 1908, Atha suggested building a roasting plant in Kansas City and it remains open to this day. In 1963, The Procter & Gamble Company of Cincinnati, Ohio acquired The Folger Coffee Company and began distributing products nationally under the name Folgers. During the ownership, it became America’s number one coffee brand and continues to produce quality coffee. In 2008, The J.M. Smucker Company completed its merger with The Folgers Coffee Company, Smucker now owning Folgers along with Jif Peanut Butter and many other companies. Saatchi and Saatchi had continued to be the Folgers companies best ad agency.


Saatchi and Saatchi have helped make ads to continue on with slogans for the Folgers campaign. They have stuck with Folgers and always brought in the infamous mountains and sunset that is found on every Folgers coffee tin. Commercials were originally used by Folgers to get their 1960’s ad out to the world. Their housewife and husband vintage commercial was shown on televisions worldwide. Folgers continued to get the word about their product out by use of television ads. Many commercials were made off the “Best Part of Waking Up” jingle and many more will come. The Folgers campaign was used to grab not only coffee drinker’s eye but to bring in the people that thought they could never find a good coffee. Started back in the 1960’s the Folgers campaign was not something you would see today. The actors in Folgers advertisements of the 1960’s would seem sexist to most in today’s day and age. The advertisements consisted mostly of housewives struggling to please their husbands with their coffee. The husband would always be dissatisfied with the way his wife’s coffee tastes and make rude remarks about her cooking skills. The wife would then desperately be in search of some new coffee at the super market where she would be recommended the Folgers brand of coffee. Of course, the husband would then be more than pleased with his wife’s new coffee. The strategy behind these advertisements was to guilt trip women into buying Folgers coffee in order to please their husbands. It worked. Aside from the husband and wife being portrayed in the commercials, other key actors during this time period for Folgers were Peter Folger, who was James A. Folgers great grandson and the owner at that time. As Folgers was growing larger and larger, consumer goods company Procter and Gamble purchased Folgers and made its products available for distribution nationally. As the campaign grew the next big step was in the 1980’s with the jingle. The actors in the recent campaigns of the Folgers coffee brand have changed slightly. Instead of the obedient house wife


trying desperately to please her husband, the characters have been replaced with more traditional stereotypes. Now, a loving, caring family is being woken up by the smell of Folgers being brewed accompanied by the catchy jingle and phrase, “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup,” which first aired in 1984. Ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi were the creative minds behind Folgers new jingle that still continues to this day. Famous artists have performed the jingle for Folgers. These artists include country singer Randy Travis and R&B diva Aretha Franklin. Consumer goods company Procter and Gamble would remain in control of the Folgers brand until 2008. Folgers was then acquired by makers of jams and jellies, the J.M. Smucker Company. Smucker’s CEO Richard K. Smucker said in a statement about the purchase of Folgers that “Coffee is the perfect complement to breakfast or dessert, two areas we know a lot about.”(cite) Folgers coffee was started in the time of the gold rush and stood strong through depressions and recessions. At the start of the campaign in the 1960’s the scene was revolutionary to the culture. Two of the United States’ most major wars were going on; the Cold War, and the Vietnam War. The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred also in the early sixties. Besides war, the civil rights movement was going on, including Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington D.C. Along with that, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Prior to Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidency, John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Since one of Folgers’ biggest advertising campaigns happened in the 1960’s, a lot was happening in American society and in the world. Besides war and political events, there were many scientific achievements in the decade as well. Towards the end of the decade, the first human spaceflight landed on the moon with Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin. Besides moon exploration, there were probes sent to Venus and Mars as well.


The female brith-control contraceptive pill was released in the United States after FDA approval as well as the first heart transplantation operation. America was beginning to slowly move out of the old ideals of being conservative. People everywhere were challenging the once traditional views of sex, marriage, music, clothes and art. The Folgers house wife advertisements came out in the early 1960’s when people were still holding onto these traditional views of the obedient wife and reserved clothing. The hippie movement that came later in the mid 1960’s really brought about brightly colored clothing and the counter culture movement by students protesting consumerism and politics. The Folgers campaign of the obedient housewife would not have worked as well as it did if Folgers had aired it later in the 1960’s. When society changed and Folgers campaign progressed along with it. The scene of the world had changed and Folgers knew their campaign needed to develop to keep up with the times and to keep a good customer base. The scene during the 1980’s and current Folgers advertisements are vastly different than that of their older counterparts. The 1980’s were not as pivotal as the 1960’s, but still had many influential events. The ‘80s were a time where terrorist attacks and guerrilla wars were coming about all over the world. There was also decolonization and independence. Australia and the United Kingdom fully separated Australia’s governments from the influence of British Parliament. Also, New Zealand and the United Kingdom fully separated their governments as well. A once traditional America that entered the revolutionary era of the 1960’s was now slowly calming down again. Political campaigns such as the Just Say NO campaign on the war on drugs were going into effect since drugs became a serious problem in the ‘80s. Although Folgers was once again playing the family angle, they were doing it differently. Folgers wanted to now show a happy, put together family scene that was fairly wide


spread in America. America was tamer than it had been in the past and Folgers advertisements were now mirroring this scene. Folgers’ Coffee has gone with a number of different approaches when marketing to their intended audiences. The 1960’s approach to Folgers’ ads was very different then their modern day approaches. With a changing society, Folgers’ has had to adapt in their strategies and how they were going to target their potential consumers. In the 1960’s, Folgers ads focused on the idea of housewives attempting to please their husbands by making them good cups of coffee. Therefore, there intended audience at that time was housewives. In that time, women’s roles were much different than they are today. They mostly stayed at home to do housework, prepare meals, and do the shopping. Since they were the ones doing all the shopping, targeting them through these ads was crucial. Folgers’ had good use of cognitive dissonance in their commercials. They created dissonance by showing a husband disappointed by his wife’s coffee and wishing for a better taste. This caused tension in their relationship since he would talk of how the secretary’s coffee was better. The last thing a wife wanted back then was to displease her husband and thus dissonance was created. Folgers’ would then raise consonance by showing a wife giving her husband a cup of Folgers’ and having him love it more than any other coffee he had ever had. This now provides the reward of having a healthy marriage because of Folgers’ coffee. The intended audience in present time has changed due to a constantly changing society. Their new strategy began in the 1980’s by targeting families as a whole, rather than just the housewives. Folgers targeted families in different ways. They brought about the “Best Part of Waking Up” jingle to show families waking up together and having a good day starting with their cups of coffee. They also targeted families by having a commercial in which a boy comes


home from college and brews a pot of coffee that wakes his parents and letting them know of his arrival. In 2009 a similar commercial was aired showing a son coming home from West Africa and waking up in the morning to the smell of Folgers’ coffee. These commercials now show other members of the family making cups of coffee. They show that Folgers’ can bring families together after time of being apart. Folgers knew with their intended audiences they had a few strategies of persuasion to play off of. When it came to the old campaign of the husband unhappy with his first cup of coffee and the wife knowing she must find the perfect coffee for her husband, Folgers used the symbolic convergence theory. Symbolic convergence theory is the idea that “reality is socially based and symbolically constructed. (Larson, 2010)” Folgers played on the fact that people learn or identify with things in their world based on their interactions with others. This theory helped Folgers when making their old commercial for the Folgers campaign. The wife would buy some coffee make it for her husband just like a good housewife always does. Then when the husband took a sip he was disgusted by it. The wife would talk to her other friends, most often other housewives and see what coffee they used. The ads often included a housewife named, Mrs. Olsen, and she always recommend Folgers. () The housewife who always had trouble making tasty coffee then goes out and gets Folgers for her husband, who clearly ends up loving the new coffee. The wife learns from her interactions with others what coffee is known as the best. She also knows from society that to be a good housewife she needs to give her husband the best cup of coffee every morning. By talking to her fellow housewives they each distinguish what would make their husbands happy. The women’s interactions with society have constructed what they will give to their husbands and how they will treat their husbands. The vintage commercials showed to women who wanted to make their husbands as happy as the husbands in the


commercials. Folgers coffee grew with times and had to make their campaign match the cultural times as times changed. There were many different slogans that ran for Folgers but the slogan that stuck was actually a jingle. “The best part of waking up” jingle became a well known jingle sang by everyone. The strategy of persuasion used by the Folgers ad company was the elaboration likelihood model. This dual process method refers to the idea that we have a central processing route and a peripheral processing route. The central processing route is the “information processing that occurs as a result of a person’s careful and thoughtful considerations of the true merits of the information present (Larson, 2010).” People use this route to make big decision. The peripheral processing route requires “much less cognitive effort and sometimes surveying less information than in the central processing route (Larson, 2010).” People use this route to take short cuts and this route often uses simple signs from persuasive messages to make decisions. Folgers used the idea that people don’t really process a lot of information to make a decision on what coffee to drink. They knew people used their peripheral processing route to make their decisions about coffee. With a simple jingle that would be fun to hear and easy to remember, people would replay it in their head when looking at coffee and simply pick up a Folgers coffee can without thinking.



Folgers Coffee History. (n.d.). In Folgers Coffee. Retrieved November 28, 2012, from

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