- David Beckham has joined the Nespresso family for an undisclosed sum
- George Clooney has earned a reported $40 million through his relationship with the coffee brand
- Beckham has the potential to drive Nespresso sales in areas of the consumer market Clooney can’t
IT’S BEEN a week since David Beckham announced his partnership with Nespresso. He joins George Clooney as the at-home coffee giant bolsters its superstar brand ambassador lineup.
Clooney has earned at least $40 million through his relationship with the coffee brand – enough for him to part-fund a satellite that kept an eye on former Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir. “I want the war criminal to have the same amount of attention that I get. I think that’s fair,” he said in 2012.
While Beckham has joined the Nespresso family for an undisclosed amount of money, it’s sure to be a hefty sum. This is clearly a massive payday for David Beckham – but what does the ex-footballer bring to the coffee brand?
A different type of star
As co-owner of Inter Miami CF and Salford City FC and ex-captain of the England football team, David Beckham is a different type of star to George Clooney.
“Beckham brings a slight brand refresh, a reinvigoration, a different angle and perhaps a greater profile and attraction to a different consumer demographic,” says Simon Walton, head of consumer practice with Berwick Partners. “Therefore the attraction of Beckham to Nespresso is clear.”
George’s TV ads ooze sophistication. Some consider him the last actor that represents the classical, Golden Age of Hollywood. Consequently, he positions Nespresso as a brand for those who aspire to emulate his suave persona.
While there’s nothing unsophisticated about Beckham’s adverts (or the man himself), the football star exposes the coffee brand to an entirely different group of consumers – appealing to a more grounded, less polished audience.
As coffee overtakes tea as the UK’s beverage of choice, it could be argued that the luxury at-home coffee brand is making a real effort to attract this larger majority of the public and push even further into the mainstream.
And Beckham’s appeal extends beyond the UK. While Clooney clearly has a solid following in the US, so does Beckham – and his endorsement can strengthen the European coffee brand’s presence in the world’s largest market.
“Beckham has a huge following and profile in the US, Asia and Africa too. Beckham, clearly extends Nespresso’s potential brand reach,” Simon says.
At the same time, “Beckham can plug a gap that Clooney simply cannot. Socials”, writes Jason Papp, editor-in-chief of The Goods.
In the advertising world, the importance of driving sales through social media and other online channels is undeniable. In this regard, Clooney has such a negligible Instagram presence it’s barely worth mentioning, while Beckham boasts over 85 million followers. The day after Beckham posted an Instagram reel announcing the partnership, the video had nearly 5 million views.
And while Clooney has undoubtedly performed well for Nespresso over the years, the age of TV ads is fading. In fact, UK broadcaster and telecommunications company Sky experienced an almost 10% decline in advertising revenue in Q4 2022, and a 2% drop for the entire fiscal year. TV advertising in general is expected to decline by approximately 5% overall in 2023.
As such, Becks could represent the future for the coffee brand. His appeal has the potential to drive a more premium coffee product to new audiences. Additionally, he has the platform needed to reach these new demographics in the online spaces they operate – especially the younger consumers who increasingly shape the coffee sector.
“Beckam will attract perhaps a younger consumer and open Nespresso up to an additional consumer base that it wasn’t previously directly communicating with and perhaps attracting,” says Simon.
The one puzzling aspect of this partnership is the La Marzocco Linea Mini that features in David Beckham’s recent Netflix docuseries. This seems like a significant missed opportunity to embed authenticity into the brand partnership right from the outset.
Yet, both the David Beckham and Nespresso brands are too well-practised for this to be a mistake. It’s possible that featuring the La Marzocco Mini reinforces David’s appreciation for high-quality coffee – a good alignment for Nespresso.
Nevertheless, only time will tell how the Nespresso and David Beckham story will unfold; and indeed, how Mr Clooney fits into developing the coffee brand’s visibility and identity. What does seem clear is that this new partnership signifies Nespresso’s very deliberate attempt to reach a wider audience and appeal to the masses.
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