YouTube star Emma Chamberlain launched a ready-to-drink line of her DTC coffee brand exclusively at Walmart in April.
“We worked closely with Walmart from the beginning, even before we had developed a product,” Elizabeth Ahern, Chamberlain Coffee chief marketing officer, told the Path to Purchase Institute. “Based on insights from our consumers, we knew that there was a large demand for cold coffee, especially in a ready-to-drink format. Walmart was an ideal partner because of their national presence and reach among the Gen Z shopper. Because of the convenience of this product, we wanted to be as close to our consumers as possible.”
Stocked at Walmart stores in the aisle with other RTD coffee, the line spans four latte flavors made with almond milk and coconut cream: cold brew, mocha, cinnamon bun and vanilla. The 12-ounce cans cost $2.98 and will remain a Walmart exclusive through September. Walmart will also begin stocking the brand’s Early Bird, Social Dog and Fluffy Lamb ground coffee blends soon.
“We’re looking to continue to expand our brand’s presence in retail locations,” Ahern said. “We want to be a part of our consumers’ daily lives and ensuring we’re available when and where they shop is a part of delivering on this. Our own website will continue to be a platform for discovery of exciting new products and fun collaborations.”
Chamberlain partnered with Quan Media Group to promote the launch with the brand’s first OOH campaign. Running for four weeks in May, the effort included placement in Walmart parking lots, digital kiosks near the University of Houston and Arizona State University, and ads in Dallas’ American Airlines Center sports and entertainment arena.
“We identified markets with a high concentration of Walmart stores and then overlaid our knowledge of the Gen Z population in those markets,” Ahern said. “We brought this list then to Quan Media Group, and they were super helpful partners in helping us home in on the right neighborhoods based on these goals and the right premium inventory. They helped us identify trade-offs with different placements and negotiated on our behalf so we could meet our budget goals.”
The campaign incorporated a mix of static and digital ads with simple messaging designed to drive awareness of the product and inform consumers where they could buy it. Chamberlain supported the effort across its social channels, most notably with a YouTube video where the brand founder dressed up as a can of coffee to ask Walmart shoppers trivia questions.