Bonnier News Brand Studio, a full-service agency, is an innovative, award-winning collaboration of five of the largest newspapers in Sweden. Löfbergs is one of the largest family-owned coffee roasters in the Nordic region, and in 2018 the company hired Bonnier News Brand Studio to take its “Next Generation Coffee” campaign to the next level.

Löfbergs works hard to import coffee that consumers can enjoy with a good conscience. The company works for a sustainable culture, environment, and support for young coffee farmers. The Next Generation Coffee project highlighted farming conditions in Colombia and other places.

Sweden is one of biggest coffee-consuming countries in the world, with an average of 3.2 cups of coffee per person each day. And like a big part of the population, we at Bonnier News Brand Studio love coffee. A lot. Most of us walk to the coffee machine more than 3.2 times a day. But how much do we actually know about coffee?

Great quality coffee is one of the most important exports from Colombia,  grown in the mountains in a beautiful landscape. We wanted to create an understanding of coffee, its journey from plant to cup, and the everyday life of young Colombian coffee farmers.

We broke new ground and threw ourselves into a type of production we had never done before. A crew from Bonnier News Brand Studio, Löfbergs, and Virtual Reality producers from Vobling packed their gear and set out across the globe to tell the stories of the young coffee farmers Emilio and Ana-Maria, who live high up in the mountains outside of Medellin, Colombia.

A crew visited far-flung locales to create the Virtual Reality campaign about coffee farmers.
A crew visited far-flung locales to create the Virtual Reality campaign about coffee farmers.

“Emilio’s farm lies in Heliconia, which is reached by a very narrow road,” explained Ronnie Johansson, one of the crewmembers from Bonnier News Brand Studio. “The crew went by minivan and arrived after a four-hour ride upwards. We were amazed by the view over the mountain peaks. Emilio’s farm hangs on the mountainside, and his family’s house is built of brightly coloured concrete and steel boxes. Their property has a small yard in the middle, where the beans are dried. Cats and dogs are running around to the never-ending sounds from the jungle.

“Ana-Maria’s farm is in Titibiri, a three-hour drive from Heliconia. The farm cannot be reached by car all the way, so we went on a two-hour hike at a 45° angle upwards, passed a small waterfall, a field with papaya-eating cows, and lots and lots of dogs. Ana-Maria’s house is placed on the mountainside, also with an overwhelming view. Later we sat on her small patio, overlooking the landscape of steep mountain walls and had a cup of coffee — Ana-Maria’s coffee.”

Bonnier News Brand Studio gave consumers a unique look inside the lives of Colombian coffee farmers that work with client Löfbergs.
Bonnier News Brand Studio gave consumers a unique look inside the lives of Colombian coffee farmers that work with client Löfbergs.

The crew captured all of these sights and sounds in an immersive, mind-blowing VR experience. Only a few have created this kind of commercial story experience before. This was the first sponsored experience released in the Dagens Nyheter VR application “DN VR,” a part of a total campaign with long-read native their Web site and live events in Almedalen, Sweden’s largest gathering of politicians, senior executives, and communications experts.

Responsibility in the whole chain and spreading knowledge to make conditions better for the farmers is crucial if we want to continue producing and enjoying high-quality coffee. VR provided an innovative way to highlight this and increase consumers’ knowledge about sustainable coffee farming.

Beyond that, Löfbergs enjoyed a successful campaign with impact, increased revenue, profitability, growth, and innovation. This concept adds an enhanced experience to the editorial content of DN VR. The campaign resulted in a strengthened position for Löfbergs as a caring, real, and open company, and the VR campaign brought them closer to their suppliers and customers.

To succeed with a project like this, you need a client with a lot of courage, excellent communication, and trust among all parties. We created something new in Colombia’s breath-taking mountain landscape — where no other coffee buyer from Europe had ever set foot. This made way for Löfbergs to be bold and curious. And VR made it possible for the DN readers to experience the whole picture of Löfbergs’s work.