Nescafé has lost faith in the dotcom and is betting big on Tumblr instead

Nescafé has consolidated its global portfolio of websites and moved it on to Tumblr, declaring the dotcom is dead as it eyes content collaboration with millennials.

The Nestle-owned brand is hoping the move to Tumblr will engage it with a younger demographic and open it up to more user-generated content in a way that the traditional website doesn’t allow for.

The refreshed strategy will see Nescafé move away from traditional social media brand pages and what it has described as their ‘rented relationships’ with consumers. Instead it wants to focus “on creating real life conversations with people.”

Speaking to The Drum as the new platform rolled out, Michael Chrisment global head of integrated marketing at Nescafé said the brand is looking to engage in ‘owned media territory’.

“The dotcom is reflection of us talking to people; this approach is dead. It should be much more inclusive and allow conversations,” he said. “[Tumblr] is fostering that possibility to co-create.”

While Nescafé is promising the fully transactional site will serve “as a source of inspiration and connection with suggestions for new coffee creations, multi sensorial flavours, and the coolest coffee experiences”, it’s hoping fans will populate it with their own coffee-related content.

And the options of what form that takes on Tumblr are seemingly endless. From text, photos, quotes, links, music and – thanks to a significant investment from parent company Yahoo – a plethora of video options, the content can all be housed on Nescafé's page. From there, users can share on other networks or reblog to their own pages within the Tumblr ecosystem.

To build out the proposition, Nescafé is now considering how it will work with Tumblr’s Creators Programme, which launched earlier this year as an in-house agency promising to connect brands with Tumblr artists.

“Because they have a crowd of really creative people, as we look to produce more content more often we will look outside of our traditional partners,” explained Chrisment.

Chrisment is in the minority of marketers currently backing the micro-blogging platform. According to 2013 data, only 31 of the top 100 brands in the US were on Tumblr. Attention for the majority has instead focused on getting to grips with Facebook and Twitter's ad tools as well as the likes of Instagram and Pinterest; similar in the visual elements but more restricting in the way brands and users interact.

Chrisment admitted that while small in comparison, he was attracted to Tumblr's growing user base and that it can boast higher organic reach than some other social platforms. According to Tumblr data from 2014, the average post gets reblogged about 14 times while the average sponsored post will be reblogged 10,000 times.

The move will subsequently see a shift in how Nescafe’s marketing budgets are allocated as user-generated content that attracts attention is monitored and further amplified.

“We’re putting owned first and will look at what it takes and how it elevates earned and then promoting it through additional paid media,” he said.

Over the coming year, the learnings from the investment in Tumblr and ‘owned-first’ strategy will be potentially applied to other traditional platforms, including TV, radio, and press.

Jennifer Faull

The Drum senior reporter Jen Faull provides news and insight on the latest developments in retail and FMCG.

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