Brand Breakdown

Brand Breakdown Part 1: Deathwish Coffee (Facebook Ads)

August 20, 2022

How do you describe Death Wish Coffee?

Try: Motorcycle driving, tattooed/pierced DTC bad boy that offers its coffee drinkers the strongest beans on the market. ☕️

Their social media recipe has won the eyes of consumers, and it’s no surprise that their taglines are just as strong as their coffee.

How did a coffee business that started back in 2012 become an eight-figure giant? We tapped our friends at Pilothouse for some of the strongest social insights to give us a better idea of Death Wish's social media recipe.

Let's get brewing, folks.

☠️ Bad Good to the bone

✨ Quick:

  • Great hook and play on the branding.
  • Unreal Star Wars Darkside callout (we’re nerds here at the DTC).
  • Great headline and description.
  • The discount offer needs clarity.

💡 Pro tips from Pilothouse :

You really can’t go wrong with a product graphic that’s this dang cool. It’s edgy, charismatic, and clearly displays the brand’s identity.

In this post, Death Wish offers, “15% on your first purchase.” We can assume that they’re offering “15% off,” but feel that the wording could be clearer to entice first-time buyers.

Luckily, the headline and description made up for the ambiguity. We love the way that they mixed in a fun problem and solved it with a great hook containing urgency. World-class Death Wish…

That being said, we’re not 100% confident we understand their “to-do list: dead” line. It’s very on brand, but we’d like to see split-test results with funny hooks. Our suggestion? Drink coffee like you have a death wish.

Additionally, we think the ad may benefit from a stronger sense of urgency. Offer scrollers a limited-time offer, such as a set number of first-time customer codes available. Show those potential shoppers that the time to buy is now!

🍓 Berry good Death Wish, berry good

✨ Quick:

  • Very strong creative.
  • Great “new launch” angle.
  • Possibility for an unboxing video.
  • It may need a USP (unique selling proposition)

💡 Pro tips from Pilothouse :

We think this ad is a KILLER and we love how the creative is framed. Blue coffee?! It helps you imagine what the product might taste like just by looking at the ad.  

We also really enjoy the “new launch” angle. New launches are historically known to perform well, and the way Death Wish framed the new launch as limited edition will definitely help drive sales.

Wanna make it interesting? Try a retargeting effort to grab previous purchasers to let them know when it’s about to be discontinued. Something as simple as “Stock up now before it’s gone” could give that extra boost.

Given that we can already see the brand name on the packaging, we think Death Wish could feature a unique selling point in the description section. Drive home why buyers should buy the product and how it’s a step up from their regular ol’ cup of joe.

One last test! We’re super keen to know how a close-up video/unboxing with a “just dropped” style hook in the copy compares to the static image!

🦴 Till death do us part

✨ Quick:

  • Cool animated element.  
  • Great USPs and CTA (call to action).  
  • May benefit from a new product drop angle.  

💡 Pro tips from Pilothouse :

Stopping the scroll on media is the goal of all ads. Brands are in a constant battle with social media users' thumbs. What’s stopping the scroll on this ad? The animation. It’s unique, creative, and makes one compelling offer.

We really enjoy how well Death Wish communicates their USPs and CTA. We mean, “Espresso Your Dark Side” – BRILLIANT.  But the "be your own barista" portion seems interesting and may be up for debate.

We love that the animation shows how easy the product is to use. However, the line "be your own barista" may be a bit counteractive. Being our own barista reminds us of the work we have to do, while the rest of the ad gets us pumped about not doing much work.

Overall, it’s a fabulous ad that energizes scrollers and is sure to catch some eyes and rake in the coin.

🏄♀️ Shredding the gnar

✨ Quick:

  • Cool ad creative.
  • Great way to frame 25% off.
  • Copy is intriguing.  
  • Running two offers at the same time can be conflicting.

💡 Pro tips from Pilothouse :

We can all agree that this creative is pretty dang sweet – almost as sweet as our coffee after three sugar cubes.

It’s eye-catching (pun intended) and interesting enough to make you stop, or at least slow down the scrolling. The animation is fantastic and adds to the eye-catching element.

Now we know we all love a good discount, but to have the previously mentioned 15% introductory offer running concurrently with this 25% offer may have shoppers scratching their heads. When visiting Death Wish’s website, we’re seeing the 15% off offer stated – so, consistency in messaging here could help consumer confidence!

P.S. We couldn’t help but giggle at the “Handle our beans” CTA. It’s funny and right on brand.

😮 Critics are critical

✨ Quick:

  • The use of critics is top-notch.
  • Awkward spacing.  
  • The reviews are fab, but not optimized for mobile.
  • Consumer name, not “tester.”

💡 Pro tips from Pilothouse :

The use of critics in the header has us interested. Most people associate critics with critical reviews, so it’s a great way to draw attention to the positive things customers have to say! 👀

However, we’re not loving the awkward spacing. We’d suggest either spacing out those line breaks or joining together the text for consistency!

We’d also recommend optimizing the testimonials/reviews for mobile. Right now, scrollers are only seeing a snippet of what previous buyers have to say.

It may be interesting to compare the performance difference between the longer-form and something short and sweet. Something like, “My morning fuel,” may just be the push that curious potential buyers may need!

Additionally, why not bump up the personalization and authenticity a touch by adding the reviewers’ names? Adding a name to the review shows shoppers that real people love Death Wish Coffee, and they probably will too.

Final notes:

If there’s one thing we’re sure of, it’s that Death Wish Coffee has their branding ON POINT. Looking at their ads, it’s clear which brand they belong to. They’re unique, creative, and sure to pique interest.

Their use of animations, customer quotes and reviews, and bold color choices are brilliant and make it easy to see why they’ve soared in the DTC coffee world.

👋 That’s it for now! Catch ya next week for Part 2 of the Death Wish Coffee brand breakdown.

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