EventStream – The secret coffee shop

12 Jan

From experiential and guerrilla marketing to viral campaigns and pop-ups, EventStream is where we comment on the events that have caught our eye from across the world. Today, it’s the Co-op’s Secret Coffee Shop campaign.


Spilling the coffee beans on Co-op’s secret

We’re all guilty of buying that perfect cup of coffee to post a posed Instagram photo whilst we peruse the shops or meet our friends for a catch up. But how many of us can actually taste the difference between this coffee and homemade?

You can buy some equally great coffee beans for a fraction of the cost from your local supermarket, although most of us will insist that it just “isn’t the same!” Co-op dispelled these myths when they opened their Secret Coffee Shop in Norway…


The Secret Coffee Shop – English from We Are Live on Vimeo.


Oslo’s Grünerløkka district is a bustling hive of activity, where you’ll be sure to find a stylish array of coffee shops on every corner. In each of these coffee shops, you’ll find hipsters sipping their expensive and luxurious blends of complex coffees. Unbeknown to them, Co-op chose this as the location to secretly set up their own pop-up coffee shop and serve their own brand of coffee.

The aim was to show the public that hip coffee shops with sky-high prices aren’t the only place where you can get delicious coffee, and to see if anybody could taste the difference. Co-op had faith in their coffee beans winning a taste test, but they knew that was only half the battle. That’s why they decided to create a stylishly modern space that could compete with the hundreds of other local coffee shops.


The campaign


The campaign was essentially one gigantic blind taste test that played on the power of perception. By giving the public the opportunity to taste their coffee without any bias or misguided opinions, Co-op created a positive brand experience for consumers. Furthermore, their attention to detail was phenomenal from the offset. With its minimalistic décor and carefully picked staff, they were able to create a coffee shop that appealed to the masses and blended in perfectly with the local area. It clearly worked, because nobody suspected a thing.


The highlight

A particular highlight was the surprising popularity of the coffee shop and the hype it created. The reaction on social media was impressive, with bloggers and hipsters alike sharing photos of their coffee cups on Instagram and Twitter.

The campaign is a powerful example of how delivering a unique experience can attract new customers whilst reigniting the spark for old customers. Co-op made sure their customers had fallen in love with their brand before even unveiling their true identity.


The result



When Co-op unveiled their secret it gained a lot of exposure in local newspapers, magazines and radio channels and, as a result, aroused even more curiosity about how the coffee tasted. This created a social media frenzy for the brand.

For the month that The Secret Coffee Shop was open, they generated some impressive results. With over 4,000 customers taking a taste test, 67% of them said that they ‘really liked’ the coffee and a further 32% found it to be good. Only 1% of people said they didn’t enjoy the coffee. Well, you can’t please everyone!


If you’re looking for the perfect event staff for an upcoming event then contact us. We’ll ensure that you brew success with the perfect blend of promotional staff.