Costa has launched its first advertising campaign in an effort to draw customers away from Starbucks.

The ads, which claim that seven out of 10 people who see themselves as ‘coffee lovers’ preferred Costa’s cappuccino to that of its leading competitors, are based on results of recent blind testing, conducted by independent research company Tangible Branding.

According to Costa, blind tests were carried out on 334 coffee shop users in Sheffield, High Wycombe and Glasgow, who were asked to indicate a preference between Costa, Caffè Nero and Starbucks.

The results showed that 72% of coffee drinkers preferred Costa to Starbucks and 69% picked Costa over Caffè Nero.

The research also suggested that coffee drinkers who usually go to Caffè Nero and Starbucks preferred Costa cappuccino over their preferred retailer’s product.

Costa’s campaign, launched this month, will run throughout the UK in national press and online, as well as regional outdoor and breakfast radio promotions. The messaging will also feature in-store.