Why rap music sells coffee

One year ago we delved into some of the more unusual strategies used by brands to grab the headlines. From Richard Branson driving a tank through Times Square to Dollar Shave Club giving birth to viral video marketing, however there was one idea that really captured our imagination…

The decision by Jimmy’s Iced Coffee founder, the affable Jimmy Cregan, to release his own rap single - Keep Your Chin Up - was a stroke of genius. Doing so not only gained traction for the brand but firmly elevated it to stand for something more than the product it was selling.

Released via his very own Death Roast Records label, the single has more than a million views on YouTube and has received widespread acclaim from within the industry. Not satisfied with being a one hit wonder, Jimmy has just released a follow-up single, made by Fearlessly Frank and Deadbeat Films, the ominously titled Who Got The Beans.

"Our last debut rap, Keep Your Chin Up, had over a million views and won a World Dairy Award for Best Marketing campaign. We were so stoked by the response, we had to make a second one. Who Got The Beans is about reminding people who we are, and continuing the positive message about achieving your ambitions," explains Jimmy.

"When making the first one we learnt how important it is to continue being light-hearted and not take life too seriously. We wanted to do the same with Who Got The Beans."

Jimmy’s Iced Coffee undoubtedly feels like a brand with real energy and a sense of playfulness, something which doesn’t come naturally to a lot of brands and entrepreneurs. So how much of that comes through careful planning or strategy and how much of it is done on gut instinct?

Read: Steve Jobs, Richard Branson & Guy Kawasaki talk branding

"Most of it is gut instinct," admits Jimmy. "We go with what feels right. Where we have time to plan, we plan. A lot of the stuff we do is digital, so we need to act quickly, and as a small business, we have the creative freedom to produce exactly what we like. This means we will always continue to keep the positive energy through everything we do both online and offline."

When it comes to emulating the success of Jimmy’s campaigns he has one piece of advice for start-ups.

"Go right back to basics," he explains. "Ask yourself why you’re doing it in the first place. Find the thing that makes your heart sing and ideas that won’t let you sleep, but wake you up first thing in the morning. That’s the best way to stay true to you and what you do."

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