Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cups and Advertising

Readers of this blog will know that Merkel Marmaduke occasionally contributes insights into the science and culture of drinking hot chocolate.

Most people in the world are right handed and most right-handed people in the world will hold a cup by its handle in their right hand. Advertisers have different approaches to placing the advertising on a cup or mug. Coffee and hot chocolate cup advertising can be divided into categories depending on which way the advertising faces.

Outside Drinker-Facing Advertising
Advertising is mostly placed on the outside of the cup. It would seem that the advertising or logo usually faces the right-handed drinker.

Caffe Aurora at Maki Maki puts the advertising on the side facing the right-handed drinker.
Piazza D'Oro is the same at La Piazza and Bravo Espresso also do this.
The Mocoban cup at True Blue also has the main logo facing the drinker.

Griffiths Coffee faces toward the drinker at Le Bon and the food plaza but at Charlie's place the Griffith's logo faces away from the right-handed drinker.

On the Lavazza web-site there seems to be two types. The little cups that the models hold present the logo away from the drinker, but the cups not being held on the other Lavazza web pages have the logo facing the drinker. The latter types of cups are the ones Merkel has drank his hot chocolate from at The Light Hotel, The Strand Café and many others.

Outside Viewer-Facing Advertising
The logic of having advertising facing the drinkers company (the viewer) rather than the drinker is that this presents the advertising to someone who is possibly not already a consumer of the drink and there is an implicit endorsement of the drinker for the brand.

It would seem Ciocanat wants its cup users to advertise to people other than the cup holder as the advertising faces away from the right-handed drinker. Ciocanat is the only advertiser that specialty hot chocolate vendor mentioned here.

Segafredo Zanetti faces the viewer rather than the drinker. Liberty Café at Tusmore Bakery and the Coffex brand at Kibbi's also faces towards the viewer.

Outside Two-Faced Advertising
Some of the above research has been conducted on photographic evidence that only displays one side of the coffee cup. Most advertising only appears on one side of the cup but it is possible that some of the above are actually examples of outside two-faced advertising.

Genovese coffee cups at the Edge Café have the brands on both sides.

Inside Drinker-Facing Advertising
Vittoria ceramic coffee cups at the Esplanade hotel have the brand inside facing the right handed drinker. Vittoria also makes a red ceramic coffee cup at Jam the Bistro. The Vittoria logo is found in the same place as the white ceramic cup.

It is theoretically possibly to have inside viewer facing advertising but is unlikely to be much of a benefit as it is more difficult to see inside a coffee cup from a distance than to see the outside.

Other Options
Michel's Patisserie brand name faces away and sometimes toward the drinker. There are different designs depending on the outlet.

The ubiquitous Vittoria opaque glass with a wire handle (see for example Broadway Kiosk, Brunelli Café and Café Palazzo) is an interesting phenomenon. The brand is etched on the outside and does not display well in photographs, but the direction it faces will probably depend on how the wire handle was fixed. The ones I have seen face the drinker but it would not surprise me if some handles are loose and can be oriented so the brand either faces the drinker of faces away.

If you are lucky enough to get a Hudsons hot chocolate served in a ceramic mug, the logo is opposite to the handle which is something different again.

There is obvious possibilities for further research that can be done on this topic. It would seem that most advertising is focused on advising the right-handed drinker what brand they are drinking but some other possibilities offer interesting variations and brand dissemination strategies.

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