Juhla Mokka, Finland’s leading coffee maker, decided to push traditional advertising boundaries this Christmas by collaborating with SEK to create a real life gingerbread scene. The unusual ad meant baking an entire gingerbread landscape and assembling it within a transit shelter display, at a bus stop.
Taking inspiration from their Christmas packaging, which features a decorated gingerbread house, the team at SEK brought us ‘the world’s first baked outdoor ad’. Handcrafted, gently placed and beautifully lit at a bus stop, it’s a perfect replica of Juhla Mokka’s Christmas branding for 2021. The coffee brand partnered with SEK last year, on a knitted outdoor ad to draw attention to holiday crafts and this year, they push that outdoor boundary again.
To hear about the process behind keeping the scene intact, challenging boundaries and creating something fun, SEK’s senior copywriter, Adele Enersen and senior AD, Samuel Räikkönen, speaks to LBB’s Nisna Mahtani.
LBB> What was the inspiration behind the storyline for this spot?
Adele> Juhla Mokka brand has always celebrated all kinds of doers and artisan skills. It’s also deeply ingrained in Finnish heritage and culture. First, we drink coffee and then we start doing our thing. Coffee is fuel for doers.
While Christmas is full of making things, baking is one essential thing in the holiday season. For many, the Christmas spirit comes from baking and decorating gingerbreads together with loved ones. Because gingerbreads are a perfect pair with coffee, this year we wanted to give a delicious gingerbread house to all the coffee lovers in our package design.
In addition to this, we also created coffee-infused gingerbread dough and patterns to create the real Juhla Mokka gingerbread house. Then we got carried away with the whole gingerbread idea and wondered if it could be possible to create an outdoor ad by baking. Luckily we had this gingerbread enthusiast designer, Tessa Helle in our team, and she helped us to create this masterpiece with professional bakers.
LBB> What was the shoot and production like?
Samuel> It was lots of fun - and challenging. There’s no way to do this scale of custom gingerbread and decorations with machines, so everything from baking to decorations were crafted by hand. This was one of those ‘never done before’ projects, where you can’t really know how things turn out in the end, but this one turned out really nice!
LBB> Tell us about the aesthetics and grading - what were your aims?
Samuel> After a little bit of research we knew this was going to be the first baked outdoor ad in the world. We wanted it to be worth it, so we set the bar really high for ourselves. Every detail was baked with lots of love. And we are really pleased with the outcome.
LBB> Which were the trickiest components and how did you overcome them?
Samuel> Because the ad was made out of real gingerbread (about four/five millimetres thick), there were lots of little things to figure out during the production process. The trickiest part was to find a solution to the most important thing: how to get the ad in its place without breaking it.
We overcame this by installing the gingerbread village on a custom made cardboard structure, so we could transport the ad to its place as one piece. We also made some spare parts that could come in handy if the originals were to break down. But fortunately, everything went really well in the end and no spare parts were needed.
LBB> Is there anything else about the project that you’d like people to know?
Adele> With the coffee of doers, we want to challenge ourselves to do things as well and even exceed consumers’ expectations. Sometimes the smallest things make the biggest impact and entertaining people with sweet little things feels important. Last year we had hand-made knitted outdoor ads and we will try our best to surprise people with something unforeseen next Christmas as well.