Cannes Lions


DLV BBDO, Milan / ILLY / 2019

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Case Film
Presentation Image






The International Coffee Organization (ICO) decided to dedicate the 2018 International Coffee Day, to women in the coffee industry, who represent half of the workers (around 564 million) at all levels of the supply chain. In spite of their active and vital role, they have fewer rights, have less access to job opportunities and their salaries are lower. Plus, their contribution isn’t always recognised, their presence is ignored, and their voice isn’t heard: the gender gap is still strong. Since 2016, illy has marked the International Coffee Day, with an initiative called #THANKS4THECOFFEE, which strives to forge deeper connections among consumers and those working in the first, and most critical, link in the production chain: the world’s coffee growers. And this year, illy wanted to engage all coffee lovers to thank the women in coffee industry and highlight their situation.


illy wants to show the women’s vital role in the coffee industry launching a provocation: how the world of coffee would look like without women? The Half A Cup is the answer.. Because without women, we would have half of the coffee that we drink every day. A special cup that serves as both a social experiment and a striking statement about women in coffee growing. The porcelain cup looks like a typical cup until rotated to reveal that it is actually a cup that has been cut in half. An in-store experience that took place in illy flagship stores that served espresso in the specially-designed halved cups. Guests at the cafés learned about the cup’s symbolism and women’s role in coffee growing through on-site communications. To reach the largest audience, illy filmed what happened in its stores spreading the message all around the world on social and online platforms.


Thinking about the work of the coffee grower, a tough job, you imagine it done by a man. Instead half of the coffee growers are women. But the gender gap is still strong between the 2 halves. Closing it will contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal on gender equality, but also bring with it wider economic benefits. illy, a global leader in the high-quality coffee segment, is committed to several projects to close the gender gap. The strategy was to keep on showing the world how indispensable it is to recognize women’s work and to directly connect the brand with coffee lovers audience, creating a one-to-one communication in-store. A half a cup that created a unique in-store experience for all coffee lovers.


On October 1st - International Coffee Day across the world, the iconic illy cup was transformed into a symbol dedicated to women who work every day in the coffee industry and that have made the company what it is today. The coffee was served illy flagship stores in half a cup. And bartenders and in store materials explained the meaning of the activations to the clients. Their surprised reactions and their messages of thanks have been filmed creating a video aired on the brand’s on and off-line touchpoints reaching more than 1mio of views. The video was inviting people to leave online and in store their thanks message to women coffee growers. That’s generated +600% interactions bringing our message spreading all over the world.


11mio impressions

+600% interactions

3mio reaches

1 mio views

Rewarded by the European Parliament with the prize “Immagini Amiche” for the empowerment of women’s image.

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2017, ILLY

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