Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Church of Starbucks

I find Starbucks to be trendy and over-priced, and I just don't want to be a part of it. Sure, it's a great American success story, but enough already. My little suburb didn't need another one, but we just got another one about two blocks from an existing store. The few times I've ordered a cup of Starbucks coffee (in airports where it was the only option) I've asked for a small, black coffee. That tends to put a puzzled look on the faces of the Starbuckeroos, who pause and then ask, "Just a small, black coffee?"

Wieden & Kennedy put together a happy little campaign for the Coffee Monsters that invites us all to "pass the cheer" this holiday season. Here we have one of the four full-page ads taken out in today's New York Times Magazine promoting the notion of spreading good deeds via Starbucks. It works in conjunction with their oddly named website, It's Red Again. (A headier conversation about the new Starbucks stuff is going on over at Brand Autopsy.)

While not nearly as obnoxious as the effort by Sun Chips and their "Live Brightly" campaign last summer, I'm not going to let the coffee store that hypnotized a nation (and then the world) evangelize me into their cult of do-gooder coffee drones. You are selling coffee, Starbucks, not doing penance for driving all other coffee shops out of business. And anyway, if I do something nice, I'll do it anonymously. In secret. Far, far away from your website.

Besides, if some random dude in a mall hands you a cup of coffee, are you going to drink it?

Anon haters will henceforth be deleted. I have nothing against W+K. Just this campaign.

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  • Wow. Starbucks is in trouble. Remember, they’re being hurt by the likes of Mickey D’s and Dunkin’ Donuts. They didn’t need brand advertising. They needed to have a 2-for-1 holiday promotional sale—with starburst-cluttered coupons screaming LIMITED TIME OFFER! Or maybe topless baristas.

    By Blogger HighJive, at November 26, 2007 at 11:14 PM  

  • This will drive you bonkers....a while back I went to a sbux with a buddy who happened to have worked at sbux previously. As we were leaving and I generously dropped a $1 in the tip jar he asked me what the hell I was doing. He said most employees get benefits AND make decent money (well, decent enough for making coffee for a livin'). Additionally, he said, why would I pay $5 for my quad-mocha and then turn around and spend even MORE money on a tip. I replied with "because caffeine is a drug and I am addicted....its mind-altering properties has affected my judgement and caused me to inexplicably throw money at my fake-friendly neighborhood barrista". Actually, I just looked at him with a dumbfounded stare. So, from that day forward, I have not tipped (unless I just didn't want to carry the coins). In hindsight, I think he's just disgruntled. But, it's a good enough excuse for me. Oh, and Jetpacks, if you're gonna order a 'small black coffee' in the future, the code for that is 'tall drip'. If you want to squeeze more out of that monopoly ask for a 'tall drip in a grande cup' (they'll think you're doing it because you want to add cream....and give you more Joe for being so damn cool knowing the nuances of 'the code' so well). You're welcome...

    By Blogger thompanilla, at November 27, 2007 at 8:50 AM  

  • why'd you change the title, jetpacks?

    By Blogger thompanilla, at November 27, 2007 at 10:25 AM  

  • thompanilla:

    I'm always editing. Just seemed a little less offensive.

    By Blogger Jetpacks, at November 27, 2007 at 5:49 PM  

  • Yuck. Their crazy drinks are way too sugary and they can't make a regular latte worth a damn ("I said Latte, If I wanted that much foam I would have ordered a cappuccino") and their coffee always tastes old and burnt.

    The print ad seems to harken back to an older time, the good old days when you were friendly with your neighbors, when people weren't tearing each other down in Best Buy for the newest video game for their kid. Either way, I have no idea what they are trying to accomplish with the campaign and the website is just straight up confusing.

    I drink my coffee at home with my stove top espresso maker and try to steer clear of starbucks--physically and interactively.

    By Blogger ke, at November 27, 2007 at 8:31 PM  

  • I will often compliment a friend/co-worker etc and follow with the line " that and 4$ will get you a cup of starbucks". It is actually cheaper to smoke a pack a day in Missouri than to have a grande latte whatever on your way to work. BTW the drivers on Campbell street are real buttheads before (and probably after ) they've had their designer caffiene, you know, right turn from the left lane to get their 'fix'

    By Blogger warbird2010, at November 27, 2007 at 10:34 PM  

  • my name is thompanilla and i am a starbucksaholic......truthfully, my habit used to be much worse - when I had a commute. Working from home has helped me in that sense. I do buy the beans, though...and then get my fix at home. Once upon a time (pre-marriage and pre-children...when I needed distractions in my life to fill up the time), I used to order green beans on the internet and roast them myself - never had such great coffee...the curse of being a chem major. I even bought a $500 spidem trevi automatica espresso machine that administered my drug at the push of a button. Now it's sitting in the garage....hey, anybody wanna buy that from me? :o)

    By Blogger thompanilla, at November 28, 2007 at 8:44 AM  

  • I was a Starbucks addict until I had to give up caffeine. Three days and I'm doing okay.

    While on the topic of Starbucks, I was flipping the channels and caught like 2 minutes of some drama on NBC. Someone had been shot and was in the emergency room. The doctor asked him what happened and he said he saw some car blah, blah and that it happened outside of a Starbucks. To which the doctor replied, "is that a massage parlor?" And the guy was like, "it's a coffee place" and he gave the doctor a "you're an idiot" look in the midst of all his pain.

    So either this show was happening in an alternate universe... or that writer's strike is really taking it's toll.

    By Blogger Thinking In Vain, at November 28, 2007 at 9:08 AM  

  • "Or maybe topless baristas.”


    As for Mickey D’s, I was thinking the same thing. Starbucks is everywhere, why do they need to advertise more? Wasn’t this a perfect example of a WOM brand that came out of nowhere to be, well, everywhere?

    By Blogger Make the logo bigger, at November 28, 2007 at 3:21 PM  

  • Agency Hill Holliday must be flattered. W+K is ripping off their originality.

    Liberty Mutual is using that same "good deeds" idea in their smug campaign.

    By Blogger Joshua Shaner, at November 29, 2007 at 3:53 PM  

  • Starbucks is saying they are worried that given the current economic climate they could be one of the first nonessentials that Americans give up. Thus the new ad campaign. Which is funny considering they get more $$$ per capita than the dang IRS. Vote for Ron Paul so we can all afford to go to Starbucks daily.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 3, 2007 at 10:08 PM  

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