Corporate Eye

Caribou Coffee Offers Something Extra in Ambient Advertising

Displaying print ads at bus stops isn’t a new form of marketing, but turning those print ads into a complete experience is.  Caribou Coffee did exactly that with the help of Colley+McVoy who turned a Minneapolis bus stop into a toasty oven complete with a ceiling mounted heating element.  Check out the image below.

The campaign’s objective was to spread the word about Caribou Coffee’s new menu items.  By making clever use of the environment to not only raise awareness of new products but also to differentiate them from the competition (by showing an oven heating the menu items rather than a microwave), Colley+McVoy and Caribou Coffee succeeded.  Not only that but people who warmed up in that bus shelter while waiting in the cold Minnesota weather surely appreciated the working heating element!

All in all, this ambient advertising effort is an example of clever and meaningful creative and messaging that works.  I love finding great ambient media examples that enhance the environment and consumers’ experiences with the ad creative and messaging — and ultimately, with the brand.  You can read about a few other ambient media campaigns that I’ve written about here on the Corporate Eye blog by following the links below:

What are your opinions on ambient media?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Image: AdRants

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.