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Imus and Tassimo Tie-Up One of The Better Promos Around

Posted by: David Kiley on January 5, 2006


Whew! I’m back after the holiday hiatus. I hope you all watched the Sim version of Scrooge.

Back to the blog.

I don’t know if Kraft is selling a lot of Tassimo coffeemakers yet, but I will say that the deal they cooked up with syndicated morning DJ Don Imus is one of the more effective deals of its kind I’ve come across.

Imus gives out a Tassimo to whoever he thinks is the best guest of the day—i.e. CBS’s Andy Rooney, NBC’s David Gregory, Righty pundit Pat Buchanan, Senator John McCain, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, etc. What’s been happening is that as the guests come back on the show, thank Imus for the Tassimo and gush about how much they love it. I have to say, it’s valuable chatter about a product.

Rooney was the exception. He called Imus, on the air, just to bitch about the fact that he couldn’t put it together, and challenged Imus to do so in under two hours. And then he complained about the cost of the coffee. He rightly pointed out that the Kraft disks that must be used in the Tassimo make the coffee cost about $28.00 per pound.

It’s interesting, because I had looked at Tassimo as an alternative to Starbucks. That way, a cup of Tassimo latte is about $1.00 or so, compared with between $2.75 and $3.25 for the same cup of Joe at Starbucks. But I like Rooney’s analysis better. It make one think about how much they want to plunk down for a coffeemaker and coffee.

I’ve been living with a Tassimo for about two months, and I admit that I have grown a bit tired of the weakness of the espresso. The problem, compared with a Starbucks espresso, is that the Tassimo can’t generate the same pressure of water througn the grounds as a real espresso maker. That was explained to me by no less an expert than Gevalia’s chief coffee cupper who visited me some weeks ago. (She said she was going to blend me my own coffee, but I’m still waiting). The Suchard chocolate, likewise, is too watery. And the Gevalia regular cup of coffee out of the Tassimo…well, it’s not my cup of tea.

My experience aside, it will be interesting to see how well the Tassimo does over the course of the year, especially off the Imus promotion, which is as good a buzz campaign as I have seen.

Reader Comments


January 6, 2006 9:14 AM

In some ways this is a return to the old tactic of having a newscaster reading the advertisement on the air as though it were a news story. We come up with fancy new advertising tactics over the years - branding models, flashing quick-cut ads, Web/television integration - but when it comes down to it the large majority want to buy something that's been recommended to them. They're sold because their friends have one and like it, or because a thought leader (the great risk-takers of the market!) tried it out and recommended it to them. You only need to sell thought leaders on value/benefit. Everyone else just wants to be told what to buy.


January 8, 2006 4:01 AM

Don Imus? He makes me want to like Howard Stern, but I don't really want to like Howard Stern.

"baba booey."


January 8, 2006 4:09 AM

Don Imus? He makes me want to like Howard Stern, but I don't really want to like Howard Stern.

"baba booey."


January 15, 2006 6:13 PM

Enjoyed your article, but you could have knocked me over when you called the Espresso weak, but than again, I dislike Starbucks because it is too strong. I DID buy my Tassimo thanks to Don Imus. Great promo. It is costing me a great deal more than my old coffeemaker, but I must admit I enjoy my Latte every morning. I'm still waiting for the Maxwell House disk that was promised last November.


January 19, 2006 9:23 AM

For Espresso on Tassimo, try the Carte Noire. For coffee, try the Mastro Lorenzo Crema. The European coffees you can buy (from the Tassimo or Gevalia websites) for the machine are miles better than the generic Gevalia stuff.......


January 19, 2007 1:23 PM

totally agree about the hot chocolate, won't buy it again, too watery, not cost effective when you have to add more mix of the powdered variety to it.

Maggie Hamilton

July 24, 2007 7:36 AM

I love my Tassimo, Twinings breakfast tea, I drink it all day long, I love the chocolate, it's fine, I don't find it watery at all, I love the latte, I just cannot 'down' this machine at all!

Tony Gilks

December 14, 2007 3:10 AM

Love my machine. My only issue is that I live in Canada and the selection kind of sucks. We have about half of various kinds that you can get in the USA. The US Tassimo site won't ship to Canada either. Here's hoping that will change soon.


January 13, 2008 11:58 AM

I agree with Mr. Gilks... here in Canada, in-store variety rather sucks. Starbucks recently released 4 flavors of T-Discs and only 2 are available in-store depending which end of Canada you live in.

Most people over 40 in Atlantic Canada haven't even got a clue what the heck Tassimo is, let alone where to find one, so Kraft could do a better marketing job this side of the border to boost sales/increase demand.

I annoys me that each country can only order their own brands of T-Discs due to local manufacture (i.e. Nabob is the main line of coffee in Canada, Maxwell House in USA, Carte Noire in France, Jacobs in Germany, etc).

In my opinion, if Kraft can afford to make some international brands available in North America & vice-versa, then it should make ALL brands available world-wide. THEN you'd see sales sky-rocket, especially now that they've started lowering the price of their basic machine to $120 vs. $190 when it was first introduced.

As for the performance of the machine itself, I can't complain. It's adequate enough for me and as for those who complain it doesn't have enough bar pressure, things may change now that Kraft has transferred distributing rights from Braun to Bosch.

I've even hear rumors that soup T-Discs may be available in the near future (although it would have to be liquid-only varieties such as tomato or broths)


February 11, 2009 4:25 PM

The new Braun versions are getting some outstanding reviews and are making me think about upgrading. I'm also in Canada and disappointed about the offerings, I have been reading a ton about the Tassimo for a web page I created, and finding out all these other T-Discs are available in the US, but not here. Might have to include coffee on my list of items to bring back next trip stateside.

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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