There is an Alarm Clock in My Cof­fee

Nescafé’s new lid has a built-in alarm clock. Can the gim­mick help sales?

The Economic Times - - World View - BELINDA LANKS

For the caf­feine-ad­dicted who crave cof­fee from the sec­ond they open their eyes, Nescafé has just the thing: a lid with a built-in alarm clock. The alarm-cof­fee duo is part of a brand re­fresh by Publi­cis Mex­ico, a cre­ative agency in Mex­ico City, and the LA-based de­sign stu­dio NOTLabs. At a time when even fast­food gi­ants are try­ing to ride cof­fee’s “third wave,” Nes­tle’s Nescafé might be strug­gling to com­pete for cus­tomers whose cof­fee ar­se­nal in­cludes pour-over carafes and sin­gle-serve espresso mak­ers at home.

With its limited-edi­tion cap, the 84-year-old com­pany taps into to­day’s maker ethos and the in­no­va­tive po­ten­tial of 3D print­ing in the hopes of in­spir­ing a younger gen­er­a­tion to open a jar of in­stant. The faceted red ex­te­ri­ors of the caps were printed in ny­lon by Shape­ways, while the alarm parts were pro­duced in the NOTLabs of­fice with a Mak­erbot desk­top printer. When the alarm goes off, the cap plays one of seven sounds and pulses with a glow like a beacon of wake­ful­ness. As a cre­ative idea for sell­ing more Nescafé, the cap is good one. But it also gets us dream­ing about a smart­phone alarm app that would seam­lessly sync with our cof­fee ma­chines to start up when the ringer goes off, even de­lay brew­ing when the snooze but­ton is pressed. Now that it has mas­tered 3D print­ing, per­haps Nescafé should start ex­plor­ing the In­ter­net of Things.

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