The city of San Pedro Sula in Honduras has been called the murder capital of the world. Central American gang culture is notoriously violent and has long posed a threat to the lives of young people there. It’s an issue that attracted global attention when tens of thousands of children attempting to escape the carnage flooded the U.S. border.
Coffee brand Kenco decided to use its marketing resources to do something good for the communities in which the company operates. The “Coffee vs. Gangs” program will offer 20 vulnerable young people the skills and support to become coffee growers. Starting with this first TV spot, JWT London is launching a marketing strategy around the initiative, including content that will follow the progress of the 20 kids through the tailored education and training program.
The company is working with local community groups to pick the 20 young people for the program from the Honduras coffee growing region where the brand gets its product, including nearby cities Yoro, El Progreso, Subirana, Morazan, among others. The company says the participants won’t be actual gang members but those from broken homes, crime zones, as well as those who have been abandoned or deported.
The new spot shows a young man’s choice between the temptations of gangs and what a new job opportunity can offer. According to JWT London global creative director Jaspar Shelbourne, originally the program wasn’t always part of the company’s advertising plan. “Kenco has a track record of doing a lot of good and they have realized it also makes commercial sense to tell consumers,” says Shelbourne. “The creative idea was about how we counteract the bad things that go on in countries like Honduras with the good Kenco is doing.”
Coffee vs. Gangs is also part of a larger program by Kenco parent company Mondelez called Coffee Made Happy, which is a $200 million investment in sustainability programs for its supplying coffee farms by 2020.