Published August 17, 2017
Nespresso is suing an Israeli competitor for hiring an actor that looks uncannily like George Clooney.
Clooney has been the face of Nespresso since 2006, and has taken legal action against Israeli Espresso Club to "prevent customers from being misled."
The ad shows the Clooney lookalike making fund of Nespresso's boutique experience and suggesting its own more approachable way to drink coffee.
It begins with a disclaimer on the screen warns that the actor, silver-haired and carrying what appears to be a Nespresso bag, "is not George Clooney."
As he walks out, a voiceover says, “There’s nothing like a new espresso machine.” Another man interrupts his moment to tell him, “Stop talking to yourself, they’re towing your car.” Confused, the Clooney lookalike declares, “But wait — I left the car with the valet!” Alas, there is no valet, and he watches as his car is driven away on the back of a tow truck. The other man then tells him that wouldn’t have happened if he had an Espresso Club machine at home.
It ends with a tagline which roughly translates to “simply to drink coffee,” whereas Nespresso’s tagline is “Experience a cup above.”
Nespresso is demanding that Espresso Club pay $50,000 in damages and stop airing the commercial.
Espresso Club says the tongue-in-cheek ad and the Clooney character were meant to target customers looking for a more "informal" coffee experience.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.