Sneak Peek at New Ad Campaign

We frequently host visitors at our Starbucks Support Center in Seattle – literally from around the world.  They talk to our partners from our Farmer Support Centers in origin countries, they hear how our buyers walk the farms in 28 countries to find the best 3% of the world’s coffee beans, they watch our master roasters in action and hear about the “2nd pop” that gives our coffee it’s one-of-a-kind taste, they learn about our Shared Planet practices and what that means for our relationships with Fair Trade, Conservation International and Product (RED), as well as for coffee farming communities to the local neighborhoods we serve.

…and the stories go on and on.

Time and time again I hear, “This is amazing!  Nobody knows all this.  Why don’t you tell your story?”

Well, the time has come to do just that.  Today is the day we start.

There are two reasons why now is the time we should… really must… share these stories.

One: To meet the needs of today’s consumers who are looking for value, but value today has new meaning. It’s not about what’s cheapest – it’s about what’s best – for them, their families, their communities and the world around them.  What was once a culture of conspicuous consumption (buying to be seen) has become a culture of conscientious consumption (buying to be heard).  From a “me” world to a “we” world.  In a very noisy marketplace, and with less money to spend, how do they decide where to spend? And what trade-offs must they make?  When it comes to coffee, we believe the answer is simple.

Two: As a leader in coffee, it is not surprising that others are looking to compete for our coffee customers. A few are making claims that just don’t add up.  It is time for Starbucks to tell our story.

So we’re embarking on a long-term, story telling campaign focused on the quality, value and our values.  The campaign will build over time, and take advantage of multiple channels, both traditional and non-traditional, supporting all of the distribution points in our business.  It will also be a validation for our customers – and our partners – of what Starbucks is all about and what we stand for.

Click play below or this link to see a video of Howard Schultz talking about why we are embarking on this journey, and previewing some of the concepts with partners, and to see the first ads.


Finally you can see the first ad for this campaign in this Sunday’s New York Times: check out the back page of the business section.

…and let me know what you think.

4/30/2009 2:12 PM

Great looking ads.  I think it will really connect with your customers and help build the Starbucks Tribe.  The ads are clever and and memorable.  I shoudl generate some real buzz. Good luck!  

Jorge Jaramill
4/30/2009 2:12 PM

Really nice this campaing... I say just: Another coffe store like starbucks... haven't...

Also, I want to say that in my city we haven't starbucks, so, we need go to another city for to live the experience... We want starbucks store here, we want that our city live the taste and experience starbucks...

From: Matamoros, Tamaulipas, México.

4/30/2009 2:15 PM

I'm having trouble finding the link to Howard's video that Terry refers to.  Where is it?

4/30/2009 2:27 PM

I like the new ads... simple, direct, clean.  However, I think that they may come off a little 'prideful' - maybe that doesn't matter to those already 'in' w/ Starbucks but it's the very thing that makes others stay away.  

Just a thought...

4/30/2009 2:38 PM

Being a long time Starbucks customer, Quality and Value are the two most important things to me. Your new ad campaign is right on the mark. I Get It.

4/30/2009 3:23 PM

Great campaign!

Keep the spirit, there is nothing like a good cup of coffee and a bunch of friends for the bad times (r) You are sending the right message in a bad economic moment :)

I need you to open a Starbucks in Quito, Ecuador (I don't really like Juan Valdez, please, keep that in mind)


4/30/2009 3:40 PM

CafeChic - I've added the link to the video.  See below.

4/30/2009 3:41 PM

I've got to say, I really enjoy Starbucks as much as the next person! That said, I don't know that this ad is going to "move" the masses. I think you're going to have to do a lot more than saying pay more because we're worth it. Everyone has a mission statement that most people are willing to buy into. I think that what separates you is your commitment and connection to the community.

When the rubber meets the road, people want a good value and community reinvestment. THAT is what you do..... or, at least you're almost there.

On community issues, you are second to none. I'd like to see you guys do what McDonald's and others used to do. Get some "community embassadors" and go to playgrounds and retail locations and sponsor jump rope events, playground skate events and stuff like that. People come out and see the Starbucks brand and when someone falls in love with the brand.... you get brand loyalty. Newer, younger consumers. Family friendly reputation. Introduce a line of healthy and cost conscious products. Hand out some freebies! Give folks some "coupons" to get them in the door.

Otherwise, McDonald's and Duncan Donuts are both brands we've ALL grown up with and they are like members of the family. Starbucks is a new boyfriend/girlfriend that is trying to earn a place in the family. We don't grow up with fond memories of Starbucks! That's a shame, too. Because you guys do A LOT for kids and the community, but who can make the connection?

You can't be just some fancy shmancy coffee store. THAT is how the competition is killing you. You've got to beat them at their own game. Use what worked for them.... THEY have lost their way over these last several decades.

Take what works! Repackage it and slap the Starbucks logo on it.

Imagine the buzz you'd get from THAT word of mouth.

And with that..... I'm going to get my Venti Chai Tea Latte over ice!

Later guys.......

See you on the streets.

4/30/2009 3:53 PM

I think the ad is great and hits the mark.  The quality experience is definitely a core competency.  However, when my money has been tight, now and in the past, I scrimp other places to keep my starbucks.  Why?  Because its family.  My Starbucks in Las Vegas is right next to McDonalds.  I like their Hazelnut Iced Coffee (though its no Starbucks) and my kids want to go there anyway.  Why do I still go to Starbucks?  Because a day without April and Dale is like a day without sunshine, literally... I've been going to that Starbucks for 5 years.  I went there right before I delivered my second daughter.  I see friends and co-workers there.  Its like "home". Don't forget to capture that essence also.  

4/30/2009 4:19 PM

Okay I confess I like the one that says "if you're coffee isn't perfect we'll make it over. If it's still not perfect, make sure you're in a Starbucks."

Eons ago I tried an Ethiopian coffee from the Clover from an indy shop on 2nd in downtown Seattle. It was like tea. Barely a city roast from what should have been an incredible full flavored rich coffee experience. Awful. Not Starbucks. It again reminded me why I cannot get a divorce from Starbucks.

4/30/2009 4:27 PM

I love Starbucks, and often consider it a pastime.  

No doubt the shifting market values have been a topic of discussion lately. But I don't think this is what people had in mind when they say, people are investing in meaning. The new partnership between Tom's Shoes and American Express is great because Tom's Shoes gives back to the community. People are willing to invest in something that means helping people who really need it.

This new ad campaign boasts of telling the story of Starbucks and adding meaning to the company. The only thing that the new campaign is doing tooting its own horn. That does not add meaning. Boasting that Starbucks isn't any other coffee shop only draws lines between coffee drinkers. Storytelling, in its purest form, is supposed to be about people. Tell the story of coffee drinkers. Not the story of how great the company is.

4/30/2009 4:34 PM

Oh me oh my - Atrocious typos in my last post. Please ignore. And RoseBeth, you make some good points.

4/30/2009 4:36 PM

I do not like the ad about price vs. better.  Seems rather uppity to me.  I prefer the ones about GREAT TASTE, period.  

4/30/2009 4:38 PM

I wonder why no one's ever invited me out to HQ. ;) I've been a loyal frap (and iced coffee) drinker since 1997.

4/30/2009 4:38 PM

An obvious reaction the Micky D's new campaign.  but have you tried Micky D's alleged Mocha?  Yuck!  Overly sweet, bizarre coffee-ish taste.  To save 30 Cents???  Frankly, I prefer Starbucks.  Now if SBUX will only bring back the Lemon Scone.  

4/30/2009 4:40 PM

I agree with all the sentiments expressed so far - yes, your coffee is the best and no one makes a better espresso based drink than you guys.  But, you do a lot of good in the community and the world and you should make sure that people know the quality they are getting is great coffee and a company that wants to also make a difference in the world and their community.   That is good value for your money.  P.S.  When I can't afford to get my starbucks fix, I don't drink anything else - not Dunkin Donuts or McDonalds.  I just have my coffee fix at home and it is not the same or as good, but it's better than drinking bad, cheap coffee.

4/30/2009 4:40 PM

Not a big fan overall. "Beware of a cheaper cup of coffee" seems a bit elitist, and seems to acknowledge that Starbucks is pricey. And "Starbucks or nothing" seems like a bad riff on a cliched bumper sticker. The other two taglines I dig - "If your coffee isn't perfect" feels like we're being reminded of a little know company policy (it isn't little known, but knowing it makes me feel like I know a secret). "This is what your coffee tastes like" isn't mindblowing, but cute.

4/30/2009 4:41 PM

WOW!! what a great campaign.  Your ads are letting everyone know what a wonderful cup of coffee you serve.  Then, I already knew it, keep up the great work. My favor add is the one "If you're coffee isn't made perfect,we"ll make  it over. If it's still not perfect, make sure you're in a Starbucks." Thank you for a great cup of coffee.

4/30/2009 4:43 PM

I don't like this campaign at all. It runs away at 100 miles an hour from the warm, inviting atmosphere I've come to associate with Starbucks. The all-caps feels like it's shouting at me. These ads have the personality of a bully, not a friend. To put it bluntly, I think you guys are really screwing up here.

The only ad that is any good at all is the "This is how coffee tastes when you pour your heart into it" one. But the unfriendly typography destroys that beautiful sentiment.

4/30/2009 4:44 PM

Great catch phrases and I wish they were all true, but the truth is, when Starbucks went to their current "house" coffee and did away with the rotation of their already fine coffee's, I took to buying my House, Breakfast Blend and Verona from grocery stores and grinding my own in a travel cup. I'll not pay that much money for what I reagard as sub standard coffee. Sorry.

4/30/2009 4:45 PM

The ad is weak, no creativity. I agree with RoseBeth tell the story about coffe drinkers.

4/30/2009 4:45 PM

Does this mean that Starbucks is going to reverse some of the dreadful quality changes that they have made recently? Notably, the choice of a cheaper soy milk? I wish I could say that I like this new ad campaign, but I don't feel like it's true.

4/30/2009 4:46 PM

Everyone knows McDonald's is the enemy of Starbucks.    This only confirms it.     It feels like a running scared ad campaign.

4/30/2009 4:51 PM

Cannot wait for the campaign to begin!  Excellent sound bytes and poster designs.  Love the drummer in the background music for your video.  When is a t-shirt coming out with these lines on them?

4/30/2009 4:51 PM

Wow. Is this a parody? These ads are like anti-message ads. Don't they say exactly what "everyone" says is wrong about Starbucks? You're saying it's expensive. The one that says you'll make it over ("until you darn well get it right, you will") makes it sound like Starbucks drinkers are high maintenance elites who just care about status. And since the ad colors are all brown and washed out, it looks like Starbucks is totally "not green." How is this the right message?

4/30/2009 4:52 PM

Nothing like a Starbucks to make my day!  Better Starbucks three days a week than every day a bad cup of joe!

4/30/2009 4:54 PM

It's about time! I worked for Starbucks a few years ago and am still trying to explain this to people. It's about quality and taking care of the people that harvest these beans. I'm so glad you're doing this, maybe people will believe me now :)

4/30/2009 4:55 PM

Great campaign! Great company getting ready to become greater. I love Starbucks for more than the coffee. Your choice of employees is great. I visit everyday and they make me feel like I'm a member of the family. If I am in line, a member of the Starbucks crew will make eye contact and smile.

That's nice. Keep up the great work. Good luck with the new campaign.

Bill Jones--(

4/30/2009 4:56 PM

This campaign is very "addy." I really don't think that attacking the competition is the way to go. I actually have had a cheaper cup of coffee that did taste better, so immediately i will write the campaign off as one big lie. Starbucks has something that no other chain has and that is a sense of community and a social setting that makes the consumer feel "cool.", so why not enhance that? Besides, during these tough economic times, i don't care how good your coffee is, cheaper does taste better.

4/30/2009 4:56 PM

I like the new ad campaigns, especially check to see if you are in Starbucks....very whitty.  If you want the epitome of Starbucks...come visit the Starbucks in Flower Mound, TX FM is by far the most consistent with service and taste.  I have been to tons of Sbux and there are none that compare!  The staff has been there forever and it is like visiting a family member each time you walk in the door.  :)

4/30/2009 5:02 PM

my finance and I call our local Starbucks of which we have three in town "ourbucks" - because that's where we first met and that's where he proposed to me - do whatever it takes to keep starbucks strong - you might want to post personal stories in your ads - those of the local farmer those of the community - and more - you might also think about a "happy hour" at your store's - two for one...couples that drink the same thing would drink this up...Good morning it's happy hour...

Cheri S
4/30/2009 5:05 PM

I think that Starbucks has hit a price point where consumers are having second thoughts....and an ad that warns about cheaper coffee isn't going to help the cost issue at hand.   Creative marketing (combining products or featuring "drink specialties" of the day at a cost break would be a better way to push more consumers to Starbucks.  Also the "bundled" drink and breakfast item is another good way to get consumers to purchase....need to think about adding variety to the consumer purchasing based on analyzing the product purchasing trends.  

4/30/2009 5:08 PM

I really like the ads. They remind me why I have always been loyal and true to Starbuck's. I can go anywhere to buy a cup of coffee, but Starbuck's is an active part of my community. They also have corporate ideals that are close to my own, such as buying fair trade products that support the farmers and growers. I can feel good about patronizing Starbuck's.

4/30/2009 5:08 PM

I would stay away from any campaign that mentions money or cost because that immediately gets everyone reacting to it with however they approach their own money challenges and that might be so pretty...most people are not comfortable talking about money - might be a topic to avoid in advertising - focus on what's important - and that's the coffee, the atmosphere, the community that meets and greets there - not the money or cost..

4/30/2009 5:09 PM

I like the campaign. it feels a bit like reese's campaign.  kitchy.  if you go for cheap/lesser quality you never get the real thing.  that's what the ads are saying to me.  a cup of coffee at mickey d's and dunkin are not the same as a starbuck's coffee.    

4/30/2009 5:11 PM

Don't get me wrong, I'm a Starbuck's fan and will drink nothing else. Period.  However, in the last 6-8 weeks, I've noticed a significant issue with stocking products.  4 times during those weeks I have requested a food item (twice) or a syrup or a tea flavor and it's been out of stock - at 3 different locations.  It's really disappointing, especially because my morning visits 4-5/week are something I look forward to.  The last time, my alternative tea selection was offered free of charge, but otherwise I'm just told sorry.  My hope would be that operations would be in top notch shape as you launch this messaging because my coffee can't be perfect if you don't have the product in stock.  Thanks for listening. ~:) J

Faerie Gold
4/30/2009 5:14 PM

I like the new campaign generally.  I am a very loyal Starbucks customer and don't go anywhere else for coffee.  However, I agree with some of the other posts in this thread that the new campaign does come across as elitist and as a scared campaign.  Most business-class people go to Starbucks, especially in the big cities and where you're prominent.  I personally don't mind at all paying a bit extra for Starbucks, and feel that it's totally worth it.  That said, I don't think you are going to attract the "masses" with this campaign.  You might get more of the upper-middle class, but the labor class probably won't really care.  

You are positioning yourself wrong with this campaign.  I work in Marketing and do know from whence I speak.  You are trying to position yourself as "better than", when many already consider you "best" and don't have judgement otherwise.  You should be promoting more of what makes you "best" - i.e., where you get your coffee and the care that goes into it; what people love about Starbucks (including atmosphere); options and wholesomeness; etc.  

Did anybody survey your ads on the different types of publics you are trying to reach?

To be slightly disrelated but which must be included:

I MUST also mention the _horrible_ feeling I got when I saw your new VIA instant coffee come out.  Despite the fact that you advertise it as "better than instant", it's _still_ instant coffee, whatever you name it.  That made me feel immediately like Starbucks just pulled away from being "my" coffee shop where I feel at home, to much more of a commercialized venture.  You also compromise the quality of the coffee by getting into this VIA: the person making it will not always do it properly, and it leaves you with a bad rep if they do it wrong.  I won't ever buy any instant coffee no matter who makes it, so maybe I'm just biased in that direction.  But I still feel that VIA was a big mistake.  (If you have to have it, just have it and don't advertise it.)

4/30/2009 5:15 PM

I like the ad Starbucks or nothing.  That's exactly how I've felt for years: I'd rather have a cup of Starbucks either at home (I grind my own) or at the Store because all other coffees are so awful compared to Starbucks.

I'd also like to see an ad about how friendly the people are.  I tell my friend it's better than Cheers: everyone *does* know my name and my drink.  When I pull up to the drive up window and tell them my name (if they aren't looking at the monitor), they greet me and tell me they'll have my drink at the window.  I really like that!

The ad about beware of a cheaper cup of coffee: I don't think that one does much, especially to people that don't already know about Starbucks and knows about the type of company they are.

4/30/2009 5:16 PM

the ad stars out great-seems sincere and straight forward. it gets a little dicey after we "cross the street together." keep it sincere-you want to sell coffee, dude. no secret here. be honest and do a good job! if we like the product, we'll come back. i've been coming for about ten years now!

4/30/2009 5:17 PM

The print campaign is great; I like the graphics that were used with its sense of looking like a burlap bag, which would house great coffee beans.

One person commented on Starbucks getting out into the community like McDonalds, etc. Well, just to enlighten some; I’m a public school teacher and whenever we have a special meeting or fundraiser or classroom party, the Starbucks in our neighborhood provides coffee for us free of charge. This information is passed along to those in attendance. Some of those in attendance have had no knowledge of Starbucks supporting its local schools and then are so impressed that Starbucks drinks were provided free of charge. So, kudos to Starbucks in Monrovia, California for not only providing for our schools’ events, but also, giving me the boost I need every morning on my way in to teach my students. Each year I’m provided with gift cards from my students at various times, because they always see a Starbucks drinking close at hand.

After watching the video, my main suggestion is that your editors needed to take a better look at the continuity of the interview between Howard Schultz and the Starbucks’ employees. When you watch the video, it has been edited to flow nicely during the conversations, but the continuity breakdown is with the print aids being on the table during the conversation, then, off the table, back on the table etc. Not everyone will pick up on this because it’s a minor issue, but, Schultz is attempting to bring home the ‘truth’ and it’s hard not to see this as a “commercial” being filmed with some bad editing. Just a friendly thought!

Go Starbucks! You’ll always be my drink of choice.

4/30/2009 5:18 PM

I never like when one uses the word "CHEAP" or "CHEAPER."  Just not nice, and it confirms the idea that Starbucks portends to be arrogant.  

4/30/2009 5:19 PM

If my friends and I want to spend time talking and enjoying time together we go to Starbucks. Not only can we get a really great cup of coffee -- with 50 cent refills -- we are welcomed with a smile and allowed to stay as long as we like. It's like what might be called a 'coffee pub'.

4/30/2009 5:22 PM

Sorry, I can't join the bandwagon. The FACT is, Starbucks Coffee no longer tastes Great!  It used to, but not anymore.  It's rather humorous and ridiculous to see Starbucks trying every new-fangled marketing idea such as this and others, when all they need  is a CONSISTENT, FLAVORFUL and HOT cup of coffee is .  That's how they were and thereby, became popular. I cannot use such a  description anymore.

Others haven't gotten that much better-a little. It's that Starbucks has gotten much, much worse.  So, now the line between Great and Average is meeting more towards the center and why people are willing to try the others.  BECAUSE THERE'S NOT THAT BIG OF A DIFFERENCE.

Starbucks, like so many other companies, just don't get what made you what you are is based on what you started with. Now they've left the core reason for growth and somehow scratch their heads as to what's going on with sales.  IT'S VERY SIMPLE.  Wake up!  

Not to mention. The decaf is now altogether horrible. Years ago, it could pass for the regular.  I simply won't order period!

4/30/2009 5:22 PM

and, after patronizing Starbucks for more than . . . 10 years? it is still rare to get that promised smile and great attitude when you walk in.  Only after the recent recession have I noticed a change and now receive a greeting from two of the regular staff.  Should have been that way all along.

4/30/2009 5:23 PM

At one time McDonald's had coffee that was only known for the lawsuit. At one time Dunkin Donuts was known for coffee with a free donut. At one time Starbucks was known for a knockout latte and a real scone that was all the comfort food an airport traveller could want. The real scones are long ago a thing of the past but the knockout latte is still there. You cannot find any place that can make such a good latte and 20 ounces of it for $4.07 (includes tax in Chicago). McDonald's charges more than Starbucks.

Starbucks set the bar for coffee, even Intelligentia, and awakened something responsible that wasn't a beer soaked fast food joint at a college campus.  

Oh, BTW, really the Instant Coffee thing is really instant coffee, the only difference is: it is like the first cup of instant coffee out of a new jar. Nice try but Bustelo did it long ago and did it just fine in the micro-jars. Your dark roast anything in an espresso or turkish grind makes the closest to instant instant.

4/30/2009 5:23 PM

I didn't like the ad.  My first impression on the ad was Starbucks is getting defensive about their price point.  If I were Starbucks, I'd be pushing the Starbucks "experience".  I think that's slipped.  I find it frustrating to go into a coffee specialty store and they don't have decaffienated ready about half the time.  I still get my coffee there every day, but I have days where I question myself on this.

4/30/2009 5:23 PM

As per my previous comment, one of the things that makes Starbucks special is the atmosphere. Promoting that would help get the point across that Starbucks isn't just a place to get a cup of coffee. It's a place to brighten your day and meet friends in a 'homey', come sit down and relax environment.

4/30/2009 5:26 PM

The ads give the impression that Starbucks must be feeling the pressure from the smaller coffee shops. Starbucks is Starbucks. They do not need to discredit the smaller guys and cast a bad shadow on them. I have enjoyed being a Starbucks customer knowing that the company presents itself as it is...not in the competition with all the others.

Years ago several companies were pitching a project. One company in particular spent most of their time talking about the shortcomings of the other companies. It was not impressive and did not show us this companies shining points.

Just continue to build our trust in Starbucks alone and all will go well.

4/30/2009 5:27 PM

In this new  economy, I think you can do better with emphasizing the "community" of Starbucks...we love your coffee, but we also like to save money.   Why should we splurge for taste only?  Some people are living with a lot less than good coffee these days.  Talk up your global efforts, employees, community involvement...take a more humble approach.  Brand bragging is not going to get you too far with those of us who are missing our 401K's!

4/30/2009 5:27 PM

Words like BAD AFTERTASTE and CHEAPER are way too negative and overshadow any good message you have. There should be a more positive way to get your message out. I think I'll go home now and brew my own since I prefer real coffee without all the added flavors.

4/30/2009 5:32 PM

great ad -

I live by that -

i don't go anywhere else-


4/30/2009 5:34 PM

People who left Starbucks for other brands, and there are many, are very unlikely to believe they are buying a poor taste just because they are cheap.  The one about saying perfect or we make it again and again but check if you're in a Starbucks is more subtle but makes a great point.  You are guaranteed the great cup of coffee you wanted, no questions asked.

4/30/2009 5:36 PM

Super great ads.  I am so glad you are doing this so people who don't know Starbucks will come in and realize what a great product you offer at a reasonable price!!

Trips JJ
4/30/2009 5:38 PM

I heard on NPR the other day about how people are shifting downward on the preference scale...from Neiman Marcus to Macy's to Warehouse stores to Discount Retailers to Dollar stores.

It is not surprising that Starbucks is facing a similar predicament...from the predictable guys at McDonald's and Dunkin Donuts. However what is surprising (and judging by comments above, I am not alone) is the defensiveness in this strategy by Starbucks. And in this I agree with quite a few other posters...the Starbucks Experience is the what makes my family patronize the Starbucks stores. The question do you monetize the experience and make customers realize the value for the experience when McD and Dunkin claim to provide more bang for the buck, and yet not project a negative image in the ad campaign?

4/30/2009 5:48 PM

I will have to watch the ad more   and wait and see. Odd to see many different reactions here. I still go everyday, spending a  little less these days but still a big fan. Very nice staff always.

4/30/2009 5:53 PM

Well, I was making comments and suddenly I was signed in and all my comments were lost.  Highlights...first two adds best, can't remember why.  Idea above about community, make a travel trailer and park it at the entrance of various apartments so residents can pick one up as they leave for work.  Gotta go.

Simon Dekker
4/30/2009 5:55 PM

Classy messages, but the one I like the most is the one that strives for perfection: "If you don't like your coffee we'll remake it" theme is the best one. From a personal perspective, it isn't just the coffee - it's the place. There are so many times that I buy the coffee, get a sandwich, and think. I can think in Starbucks, be around people, hold ono-on-one meetings. Starbucks is an experience; it's a treat for the tastebuds and the brain.

4/30/2009 5:59 PM

Okay, maybe it's because I'm a long time Seattleite, (temporarily sidetracked in GA)but I would rather treat myself to a superior coffee drink less often than a brown crayon dipped in lukewarm water style drink more often. Truth is, you buy a "cheap" drink, usually it ends up being not so much cheaper. When I get a Starbucks too, it's not just the beverage. It's the ambience. It's the attitude. It's the culture. It's the feeling. It's not just a Starbuck's coffee, it's a Starbucks experience. That, in my opinion, is priceless.

4/30/2009 5:59 PM

The campaign is an okay start, but for a long time I have focused on 2 major themes when firing back at those who tease me about my Starbucks morning ritual:

1) There is twice as much actual coffee (grounds) in a cup of Starbucks than what is found in most commercially brewed coffee.

2) My whole day goes better when I start my day off at my local store.  The experience usually puts me in a positive frame of mind (while this is less true lately due to some personel changes - too Corporate) and puts a spring in my step.

I think these two themes are the most compelling selling points Starbucks has.  I also hope that the new campaign will be launched on TV and online.  Both mediums are proven to be more intrusive and communicate simple brand benefits MUCH better than print, in this day and age.

4/30/2009 6:02 PM

In tough times like these, I believe we should work and focus on those things that unite us as a community,  instead of  rubbing on our faces what makes us different. I have a fear this campaign is going to backfire them since it's obviously elitist.  It just confirms what's been said and mocked at nauseam about Starbucks. A disconnected and snutty experience. All we want is to enjoy a good cup of coffee surrounded by family and friends. I can't believe they are just going for the old fear campaign. Only when I thought we were done with fear mongers after this past election. I'm a loyal Starbucks customer, but sadly, I think they are just missing the point with this campaign. Once again, disconnected from the average "Joe".

Peter Bickford
4/30/2009 6:04 PM

The first one isn't terribly strong (>What< price? Personal danger? Some sort of eco-appeal? The mind reels..). Overall, confusing and weirdly threatening in one.

The others are better, and the 2nd and third resonate with me in particular. Good luck!


4/30/2009 6:04 PM

I like the new ad campaign, it gets to the point. I have been a big Starbucks coffee drinker since they started moving into MA. I like my "iced trippio in a grande cup filled half way with ice"! Having grown up in New England on Dunkin Donuts, I have to say they have forgotten thier market, DONUTS!!!! Not only has thier donuts suffered, but thier coffee is like drinking tepid dish-water that should have been thrown out last week!

Starbucks offers a great product, with a social statement attached to it. They do all-around good all around the world, not losing site of thier purpose and mission statement.

Some people think it's expensive? No, shop around and see. You get a great cup of coffee at a great value. The company as a whole cares about its community and it shows. And you can learn a litte about coffee and it's process from farm to store, just ask your baristsa!

Christy B
4/30/2009 6:05 PM

I love the starbucks coffee, but not at their stores.  I buy the whole bean espresso and take it home to make my perfect cappuccino or espresso.  The barista's aren't as good as they used to be, I guess it's because there is a starbucks on every corner!  Kind of like a Wal mart!  Starbucks used to be really cool before they started showing up in Targets, Dillons and every corner!  Put the time into quality again and you'll have your following again!  I just want the perfect cappuccino not a glass full of  warm milk!

4/30/2009 6:07 PM

Although I must pinch pennies, I still will only buy at Starbucks! I do not because of taste, I'm not a coffee connisseur, but because of what the company stands and the feeling of comfort. By not means is a good cup of coffee or a latte not important, it is, and Starbucks is one of the best. I'm glad to hear that the story behind what drive the company is made public! I work in an industry that doesn't have a good reputation and neither does the sales force. However, as long as I'm in a position to do the right thing, not just sell more, then I know I'm where I should be. Granted, I have wanted to change jobs many times but I don't want an unsrupulous person to take my position. As with Starbucks, I spent what I have with you than with anyone else because of your ethics and desire to do the right thing. I also have made a point of having all my business meetings at Starbucks to support your efforts, rather than Panara Bread or such. Thank you for what you stand for! I will continue to encourage my colleagues to visit Starbucks over another place.

4/30/2009 6:09 PM

Great ads,great coffee. I expect nothing less from Starbucks.

4/30/2009 6:12 PM

The more recent in-store ad materials and furniture have gone sterile, IMHO, and the new ad campaign has the feel of the older, more "real" Starbucks.  I hope the in-store environment moves (back) in the direction that the ad campaign is pointing.

4/30/2009 6:22 PM

Sorry to be the "sour" in this discussion but I think the ads are arrogant and will run off even loyal customers.  I find them offensive - "it comes with a price" - come on.  You can be proud without the "dis" - I'm a years loyal customer but this campaign leaves a bad taste in my mouth.......

4/30/2009 6:22 PM

If you say "We will make it over if it's not right". That's great but it suggests that you could make a bad cup of joe and who's got time to sit around and wait for something to be done right. When I order my Doppio for here "One of the easiest orders" next to small coffee. I can get it in anything from to-go cup to jumbo size mug. So yeah thats my "State of the Bucks"


jim in boston
4/30/2009 6:28 PM

Starbucks is an "honest brand" and your people are unfailingly the best...

Beware the elitism of your ad agency and don't let the NYT be your standard bearer - that is a very controversial and  "dishonest" brand.

4/30/2009 6:30 PM

The ads have promise, but placing them in the NY Times is talking to your fan base. To reach new customers you need to expand out of your comfort zone. Though  I hate seeing ads in movie theaters this may be a good young upcoming audience to tap into. Also, sooner or later I think you will need to venture into TV.

4/30/2009 6:34 PM

The ads are really great. Now it will be important that Starbucks puts their money where their mouths are. In the recent past (6 months), it seems that the taste of the beverages have declined. Additionally, the "experience" has been one of inattentive staff. This is so different from the way things used to be...

4/30/2009 6:36 PM

I like the new ad campaign. Finally, it's all about the coffee.

For the last few years, Starbucks seems to have been more focused on delivering green political messages about the environment than information about your products and services. It has become really oppressive.  I go to Starbucks for the coffee, not the politics.

This is a refreshing change of direction. You have earned your place in the market by delivering really great coffee, and you have every right to crow about it.

Good luck with the new campaign!

4/30/2009 6:37 PM

I like the one "this is what coffee tastes like when you pour your heart into it".  That's my favorite one.  It's true. I feel like that when I get my vanilla latte done just right...with a little foam on top and perfectly brewed "a moment ago".  I have to say though, that I don't particularly like that you only have Pike's Place brewed daily. It's not my favorite.  Perhaps just a little variety would be good like it used to be?  Why not just mix it up?  I realize I can choose another to be brewed, but sometimes there isn't time to wait.  Just an idea.  Oh, and by the way, I wouldn't mind being invited to HQ sometime. :)

Thank you!

4/30/2009 6:39 PM

I agree with the posters who've said you're going in the WRONG direction on this one.  The idea to share with the world how your mission statement supports philanthropy and environmental responsibility is a great idea, but these particular ads are way off.  Having worked at SBUX, I know a little about how respectable the company is, and I'm STILL easily swayed by those who point out at Starbucks kills indie coffee shops.  I think you should emphasize your community feel; although each shop adheres to corporate standards, each store is also a little family and has its own character.  The baristas are real people who often involve themselves in community projects and philanthropic work - that's what you should advertise!  Telling me you're the only ones who brew quality coffee makes me think you're struggling and petty and makes me want to rebel by going somewhere that doesn't have the playground attitude.  Of the options above, I think "...when you pour your heart into it" is acceptable, the "perfect" one is clever, if a little snide, and the other two do EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what you want, in my mind.  Hopefully you'll take in some of the comments about this stuff before you cover the world with these misleading ads.

4/30/2009 6:40 PM

Great ad campaign!  Here are a few slogans/catch phrases

inspired by Starbucks' luscious elixirs!

                      Caffeine in the bloodstream; stir in a little daydream...

                                           Think Grande...Drink Venti!  

4/30/2009 6:41 PM

I love Starbucks.  I don't like this campaign at all.  Starbucks is expensive.  Everyone knows that.  Advertising it seems pretty silly to me when people can't even afford a cup of coffee from the gas station due to unemployment, under-employment, rising prices, fees, taxes, etc.  I would choose Starbucks over any other coffee place out there, provided I could afford it.  Highlighting the fact that many of us simply can't afford a previous luxury and pleasure is kind of a slap in the face.

4/30/2009 6:46 PM

I think the ad campaign is good, but not as far reaching as maybe you are hoping for.  In this economy, the emphasis should be value added--which this accomplishes, but more to existing customers who already get what Starbucks is about...and it will reinforce their dedication and loyalty.  It will broaden your horizons some, but not break-out enough into the demographics and psycho graphics  you haven't already caught.  Give those customers a better reason to come in for the first even more specific reason and campaign to get those people in the door or drive-thru.

Yes, it is better coffee.  Yes, there is a difference.    

4/30/2009 6:51 PM

Congratulations on the new ad campaign. However, you need to remember that summer is coming and my favorite beverages are Vivanno and Chai Teas in addition to your  super skinny  Vanilla lattes . These were both highly successful prior campaigns, e.g.,  New Year campaign for Skinny latttes and last years afternoon perk for a cold Vivanno, after enjoying my morning breakfast combinations. With all the money invested in building those successful campaigns where you dominate, why focus on a commodity beverage that losses it's appeal in today economic environment? Remember your quarterly results for 1Q,2009 were dismal. Thanks for "listening" and Good Luck.

4/30/2009 6:55 PM

Great add campaign! Very simple, to the point and witty too. It is a great reaffirmation about what Starbucks is about as an organization. Nothing makes my day more than when I walk into my local store in Colorado Springs to be warmly greeted by the staff… at times that is better than the coffee. :) Alan Davis

4/30/2009 7:00 PM

$tarbucks, Who in the hell are you kidding? You are the one that has  "compromised". It's called Pike Place Roast. It's that CHEAP, bitter tasting swill that you serve in place of your "core" coffee's , your " bold "coffee's, your more "expensive" coffee's. You compromised yourself as the coffee authority on 4/08/08.

4/30/2009 7:00 PM

Read the book... Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time (Paperback) by Howard Schultz and thought that was great too.  Like your new campaign.

4/30/2009 7:08 PM

I love the sense of humor about the ads and I think Starbucks should be proud of their product which is superior to many other coffees on the market from Folgers to McDonalds.

I would like to recommend touting the fact that Starbucks offers a blend for every palate and if Breakfast Blend or Pike Place Roast is too weark for you then try Komodo Dragon and you should emphasize this feature.  

When I actually make time to GO to a Starbucks store I walk out happy every time and it makes my day.  I may not go as often as I used to but I still buy the coffee to brew at home.

Starbucks customers are fans ALL the time; not just sometimes.

I even drink your Costco Kirkland blend at work.  ;-)

4/30/2009 7:13 PM

I have been a Starbucks fan since my brother sent me bags of beans from Seattle 22 years ago.  When the stores began opening we were thrilled.  I have been rarely disappointed.  This is a company with heart, integrity and great products.  Nothing improves my day so simply than a Starbucks stop no matter where I am.  Careful with some of the ads that they do not come off elitist.  Lots of people are struggling but still want their affordable luxuries.

4/30/2009 7:20 PM

Quality and care? Yes. Value? No. I would bet my bottom dollar that your loyal Starbucks consumers aren't in it for the value. In fact quite the opposite. Starbucks is a treat, and indulgence. And it's one that consumers are prepared to pay for. In a shaky economy people aren't spending hundreds of dollars on high priced items, but rather are treating themselves to the smaller splurges. Like a Starbucks. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel like I'm worth it. And I get all that from a cup of coffee. Especially if it's more expensive. Don't play the value game. Consumers get it. And for a brand to be authentic, you can't say you are. You have to be it. Marketing 101.

Zypher man
4/30/2009 7:20 PM

I had posted on another link.

Campaign is OK, but is not going to bring in "new" customers.

Try something like:

"Come in and see and taste why our coffee cost more, your friends are alrerady here...."

"Worried you wont know how to order....We'll help you invent a new favorite..."

".54 a cup means alot to a South American coffee farmer...."

My .02 opinion

4/30/2009 7:22 PM

Nothing to do with the ad, but if trying to reach more of us with "good deals" your 3.95 deal does NOTHING for those of us who don't drink coffee.  What about tea or chai, instead of jut coffee!

4/30/2009 7:26 PM

not too keen on the ad campaign - two caffeinated alternatives: 1) Eric Clapton's "Cocaine" -> "Caffeine"  2) "For Best Results, Just Add Coffee" (t-shirts)

The Farmer
4/30/2009 7:32 PM

when are we going to tell the story about how every customer helps make the diference in the life of farmers families?

they need to know the stories about the farmers life before and after Starbucks and we need to post it in the store comunity boards!

4/30/2009 7:33 PM

The ads about making the coffee "perfect" and the one about "how coffee tastes when you pour your heart into it" are nice because they are friendly and leave a good feeling about Starbucks. But the other ads leave me feeling a little cold. You want to give the impression that Starbucks is like an old friend that you enjoy (and savor) spending time with. I feel the two ads mentioned accomplish that end.

4/30/2009 7:42 PM

I think my favorite is "This is what coffee tastes like when you pour your heart into it" the best.  Funny...I was born in Seattle the same year as Starbuck's but never knew about it until much later--but I suppose that's because I was a kid and I didn't drink coffee yet. ;-)

I believe this campaign is going to somewhat like "preaching to the choir."  I agree with the earlier comment that those who already don't like Starbuck's will just see this as a further attempt at "elitism."  If they just want to grab their coffee at a drive-through kiosk, more power to them!  I, on the other hand, prefer the cozier Starbuck's setting.

I lived in Vegas for 7 years before return to the NW and the Starbuck's culture is very much alive there.  It seems like everything's "Let's meet up at Starbuck's and discuss this"--whatever "this" might be.  Also, just about any Starbuck's you go into there, you'll find people playing chess, working on their laptops or just curled up in an overstuffed chair with coffee in one hand and a good book in the other.  I know its served as a place for me to "get away" when I wanted to "get away from it all"  for a bit.  Now that I'm back in the NW, that sub-culture doesn't seem as strong which is odd because you'd think it'd be even bigger in the Northwest.  Go figure!

4/30/2009 7:43 PM

The campaign is good but then I don't have to be sold.  My regret is that the 3 closest Starbucks to me have been closed and I still drive 7 miles to get my latte.  Good luck with the campaign.

4/30/2009 7:45 PM

Don't like the ad campaign - - too cheesey and desperate. Instead, why not bring back the class.  Talk about the 3X filtered water, show us the first-quality coffee beans that is superior to the competition.  The Loyals will remain loyal, make the Others curious enough to come back.

4/30/2009 7:46 PM

I like then new add campaign.  I think you need to add something about your other drinks.  I do not drink coffee but frequent Starbucks for teas, I haven't found a better Chai Latte.

On a different note, the speaker frequent use of  "uh"is distracting.  He use it greater than 12 times in less than 5 min.  The Starbucks Partners use it less.

4/30/2009 7:52 PM

I actually really like the idea of telling the story of the "coffee drinker." How cool would the advertising be ..." I teach first grade! My first stop in the morning is Starbucks! Now, I'm ready for those six year olds!"  and more...

I have been stopping at Starbucks since I began teaching 12 years ago... I would listen to that story and others like that... that would build my trust in a company that has an affect on the people in every day life.

Also... I agree with the person that wrote... you want to help the economy and those hurting.... Just all of a sudden announce a REDUCTION in prices... due to the economy!  That will bring everyone back that has left due to the high price of Starbucks... I, myself, changed my drink ... I want the caffeine in the morning ...need it ... but can't afford to pay $4.00 a drink x 7 days x 52 weeks.... BUT if you reduced my Iced Venti Caramel Macchiato... I'd probably go back to buying one every day... help people where they hurt... their bank account!  That would speak LOUDER than any other campaign you tried to pull off!

Also... add the part about the baristas that regularly help me every single day... know me by name, ... and the regulars that hang out in the mornings that you can't help but to say hi to - there is a STARBUCKS CULTURE -  utilize it... and you will draw so many more to Starbucks!

Good luck getting it together!

4/30/2009 7:54 PM

I'm a Starbuck regular (needless to say?), and I do not like the two negative ads.  I agree with those above who said it is not a good idea to bring up price.  You are not selling on price with people who love coffee or who love the experience of Starbucks.  

Also, the ad about leaving a bad aftertaste is not AS BAD as the "cheap" one--however, the tone is controlling and accusatory.  It may alienate or insult consumers who prefer Starbucks, but have a coffee addiction they can't afford right now.  However, I can see that it might also build loyalty among the "Starbucks or bust" crowd.

The other two positive ads are effective at communicating what we have come to expect from Starbucks.

4/30/2009 8:00 PM

I have to agree with several other comments posted regarding the decline in service and product stock.  Over the course of 2 weeks my local store was out of my usual purchase items 3 times, breaksfast food items 4 successive days, my Venti Chai Tea Latte was made with coffee 3 times even we reminding the barrista that it this drink has no coffee. I was not offered a coupon for a free drink until I took my drink back to a manager and requested the coupon.

These drinks are not cheap, I go because I usually get the drink made to my taste and i like the Chai that is used not for the value.

4/30/2009 8:10 PM

For the last 2 1/2  years I have had at least one Starbuck coffee product a day, there is nothing like it.  I LOVE the new campaign slogans.  I just wish I could aford to own a Starbucks franchise.

4/30/2009 8:23 PM

I LOVE Starbucks and I get what you are trying to do.  However, advertising in the newspaper should be against Starbucks core values.

PLEASE use internet, TV and Radio where you can be more sustainable.  This is ridiculous.

Love the You Tube video.  But please no print advertising!

4/30/2009 8:25 PM

Read all the posts and you'll find one common thread.   If you love SBUX you will keep going to SBUX.     I doubt customer retention was the goal of your ad campaign.   If you're not growing, you're dying.    Focus on what will drive more people into your stores.    Price is the silver bullet.

4/30/2009 8:28 PM

Howard, the challenge you face is to convince people that the Pike Place roast doesn't have that burned, oily taste. You also may want to advertise the price of a tall drip coffee and compare it to the price of a McDonalds coffee.

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