A java jolt of creativity?


Vancouver, where I live, is undeniably the java capital of Canada, a Starbucks sister city to Seattle, likely America’s top consumer of the steaming brew. With Tim Horton’s successfully aligning their cup of Joe with Canadian patriotism in a bid to win the tightly fought coffee supremacy awards, it’s easy to see how in a period of less than 10 years we have become so java obsessed. The same trend is happening state side.

Add to that mix the proliferation of energy drinks such as Redbull, Monster, Rockstar and Amp, and we can see how this has all morphed into a caffeine-obsessed society. We’re even seeing caffeine additives in some brands of jerky, jellybeans, chips and other candy these days. And Wrigley has just put on hold, at least in the US, their plan to launch Alert energy caffeine gum due to FDA concerns.

In this sea of amped up awareness, it was only a matter of time before someone was able to take the trend and turn it on its ear to promote a sleep disorder clinic.

Love this billboard and the point of purchase application.

Agnesian Healthcare Center for sleep disorders is based in the US. The creative, courtesy of STIR in Milwaukee, is brilliant. Admittedly this application aims squarely at energy drinks. It was likely a safer bet than attacking the heartland of coffee consumption. The message is effective since it taps our intuitive grasp of the obvious. If you’re tired, get some rest. However it is the media buy and placement, considering the target market that also wins accolades. Billboards aimed at tired drivers, and point of purchase displays aimed at those poised to buy an energy drink, hit home delivering a creative jolt, rather than just a java jolt. Well done.


Mary Charleson


  1. Before the Starbucks coffee phenom took over, there was a highly promoted product called “Jolt”. It was a hopped up cola.

    As a printer, we made a lot of money helping to promote
    this product. I never tasted the product and never saw it for sale, anywhere.


    • I believe Jolt was launched around 1985 by Wet Planet Beverages. Indeed that would have been slightly before Starbucks big onslaught in Vancouver, which started around 1988. Jolt was a bit ahead of the energy drink curve, and their target was definitely students and young professionals looking for a boost from a stimulant. They floundered a little as competition in the category increased. Their distribution system was definitely spotty. In 2009 they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Their main creditor, Emigrant Savings Bank acquired the assets and relaunched the brand. They now supposedly have global distribution, although research online leads me to believe many people have a hard time finding it. Likely more info than you were looking for Pat, but perhaps something to add to your story. Glad you made some good money on their printing, and got paid up in full!

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