Tia Maria

Brand strategy, commercials and website development for the coffee liqueur produced and marketed by Illva Saronno based on the the claim "One of a kind".

ClientUniversity project
Tia Maria


Tia Maria is a coffee liqueur produced and marketed by Illva Saronno. Its aromatic structure and sweet base make it a perfect ally to combine with ice cream or to mix to create timeless cocktails such as Espresso Martini.

Unfortunately, the brand has failed to penetrate the coffee liquor market, losing to competitors such as Kahlua or Baileys Coffee. From a careful analysis of the brand we noticed how the two major competitors mentioned before were able to convince the majority of consumers thanks to their previous positioning in the mind of the consumer.

From several focus groups we noticed how Kahlua is seen as the reference product for coffee liqueurs, while Baileys Coffee managed to convince thanks to the strength of the brand.

In order to penetrate the market we have designed a communication campaign focused on young people between 25 and 35 years to allow them to follow the generation of millennials in the years to come. The reason for this choice is to be linked to the consumption habits of the target that tend to easily modify their choices in search of something new.

The communication campaign revolves around the ideology of "One of a kind", or tries to emphasize the uniqueness of this liquor. The campaign, called "Change", tells the vision of uniqueness exploring the intimate of people and proposing a vision of acceptance of the different.

This operation consists of commercials and a podcast. The commercials are divided into a TV commercial and a series of commercials for social, while the podcast deals with issues related to change.

The TV spot shows shaded figures with a light of various colors behind them. These figures are not identifiable and reveal only their shadow, or their essence. The slogan of Tia Maria is therefore "You can change how people see you, but you can’t change your essence". The claim plays with the unmistakable taste of Tia Maria and prepares for the second phase of the campaign.

In social commercials the figures are revealed reversing expectations, as they turn out to be influencers having in some cases androgynous aspects. These commercials also present interviews with these characters that will focus on specific themes of change that will be highlighted in the podcast.

The podcast contains interviews with the characters that will explore the themes of change related to different spheres such as gender. To each interview is attached a limited edition of Tia Maria with an illustration and colors ad hoc for the theme.


The campaign gets to the heart of the diversity discussion, giving packagin a new look for each episode.



A campaign for one of the most important coffee liqueur in the world.

A campaign for one of the most important coffee liqueur in the world.

The redesign of the website makes it easy to buy the limited editions of Tia Maria online.



Project credits

DisciplinesCampaigns, Brand identity
CollaboratorsRiccardo Chiesa, Lorenza Mignani