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Brewing-Up Thought-Leadership for illy


illy wanted to make its super-premium coffee more relatable to discerning American coffee drinkers, whose coffee consumption rituals and preparation preferences differed greatly from those of Europeans. illy prioritized the US in its global growth strategy, with an intent to create “second HQ” alongside its longtime pan-European stronghold. The brand has numerous assets: quality leadership, industry innovation and award-winning ethical practices. The 360PR+ strategy: focus sharply on what is most relevant to their target American consumer: upscale, urban dwelling, food-involved Millennials – and add relevance where needed.


Our long-running illy x America campaign put 360PR+ in the role of American cultural arbiter and spanned all aspects of the brand: from beans to machines and café traffic, to supply chain ethics and sustainability. We focus on the most convenience-minded machines and match then with a range of verticals to ensure year-round media presence: culinary, gifting, design, home décor and others. To earn illy a voice in coffee trends and preparation stories, we developed the brand’s US barista, Giorgio Milos, as an expert resource that outlets regularly tapped for advice and commentary. Our work positioned Chairman Andrea Illy as one of the industry’s though leaders in coffee quality and ethics. We spearhead fully integrated promotions geared to drive café traffic, and developed a playbook for the brand and café partners to follow, spanning social media to POS.


360PR+’s work has moved the needle where it counts most: awareness, critical recognition and business growth. illy’s US business has grown 5x during our relationship, during which PR frequently served as primary marketing support. Earned media results grew consistently year over year, totaling 1.5B+ in 2021. Lasting impact includes establishment of illy as an Ethisphere Institute World’s Most Ethical Company, from original application to 10-year (and counting) series of wins.

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