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Posts Tagged ‘Starbucks’

Best Interview Ever: Starbucks’ CEO Schultz Talks About ASU College Partnership With Jon Stewart

starbucks cupIt’s not too often that The Daily Show invites a corporate leader to sit in the special guest chair opposite Jon Stewart. Usually it’s political activists and elected officials, authors and thinkers, or actors and directors. Last night, Howard Schultz, the CEO and chairman of Starbucksmade an appearance on the program. And he opened with the big news of the day (hey, it was on our Ticker!): Starbucks will be offering a free college education to its employees.

Through a partnership with the *Arizona State University, the company will give workers seeking a Bachelor’s degree the opportunity to pursue one, tuition-free, through online courses. He could barely get the words out and the audience was cheering.

“It is my job to hate everything. I’m having a really hard time with this one,” Stewart replied. “This sounds really lovely.” A talk show appearance – particularly one with Jon Stewart – doesn’t get much better than that.

Schultz said this is an opportunity for his company to tackle the issue of student indebtedness and help workers achieve something they wouldn’t otherwise be able to get on their own. And waiting on Washington is a waste of time.

“We’ve got to step up as we have in the past and show true leadership,” Schultz continued.

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Starbucks Partners with Duracell to Introduce Wireless Charging Stations

I1402518899000-XXX-San-Jose-2f you’re accustomed to working on your tablet for hours on end at your local Starbucks, but hate crawling surreptitiously underneath strangers’ chairs to access one of the few electrical outlets when your battery dies, the coffee chain’s new partnership with Duracell Powermat was made with you in mind.

Thanks to the scheduled rollout of wireless charging stations, it will soon be even easier for you to stick around and buy that second cup of overpriced coffee without worrying that your device will crap out on you and you’ll actually have to read a book or make conversation (heaven forbid).

The rollout will begin with stores in the San Francisco Bay Area, where customers will be able to simply set their devices down on certain parts of their tabletops to charge them. The company plans to install more that 100,000 such charging stations at Starbucks locations nationwide over the course of the next three years (that’s roughly a dozen per store). Read more

Chipotle Bans Guns at Restaurants After ‘Open Carry’ Demonstration in Texas

1311973338-chipotle-logoRemember when gun enthusiasts celebrated a heavily-armed “Starbucks Appreciation Day” to thank the coffee chain for defaulting to local gun laws (including “open carry” regulations), resulting in the company banning firearms from all of its locations to separate itself from the highly-political kerfuffle?

Well, if being barred from polishing your colt 45 while sipping on a latte at your local Starbucks disappointed you, you’ll be devastated to learn that if you were hoping to brandish an assault rifle while enjoying your next Chipotle burrito, you’ll now officially have to order it to go.

The new policy banning guns from all Chipotle locations comes after participants in an “open carry” demonstration brought guns — including assault rifles — into one of Chipotle’s Texas stores. The spectacle (for some reason) made customers rather uncomfortable, and also launched the fast food chain into the center of a hotly-debated issue — neither of which the company particularly appreciated. Read more

The 5 Most Socially Engaged Restaurant Brands

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Today we stumbled across the Restaurant Social Media Index, a three-year-old research tool measuring the performance of various restaurant brands on social media.

We were first drawn to this list of names with the greatest audience engagement levels; we found it particularly relevant considering the fact that most of its entries are fast food chains and salty, fatty fare is always popular on Super Bowl weekend.

So we figured we’d explore the top five on the list of 25 and find some examples of this all-important “engagement.”

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Edelman Appoints New Head of Chicago Office

2756a9891d9fecb8e56ba61b7893dfa8In yet another revolving door announcement, Edelman named Jay Porter as the new president of its inaugural Chicago office.

Porter was most recently executive vice president and global client relationship manager for Starbucks; he’ll replace Rick Murray, who’s moving on to other endeavors, and report to U.S. president/CEO Mark Haas.

This won’t be Porter’s first stint with the firm: from 2005-2012 he alternately served as the Seattle Consumer practice, manager of the Axe account and EVP/general manager of the San Francisco office before taking over the Starbucks account.

Edelman’s made a few changes since announcing its 2014 “Show Up Differently” initiative; we’ll report on future updates.

Starbucks Gets Frap-Slapped by Missouri Pub Owner

Sucks Coffee StarbucksSometimes, I think I should be one of the Occupy Wall Street folks. And then I remember I much I love to bathe and exercise proper oral hygiene and move on to something on TV. Corporate folk so easily forget the times when they struggled, so when “the little guy” gets one over on them, I secretly jump for joy … and publicly come here to relish in the afterglow.

You may be familiar with Starbucks? In their overused, cutsy lingo, the eff word is not what you think a barista says when he or she can’t remember one of those ridiculous hipster diatribe orders in the drive-thru. No, the eff word in question is “Frappuccino.”

However, thanks to this genius move by a pub owner in Missouri, Starbucks may actually be using the other word you were thinking.

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Top 10 Social Media Wins of 2013

Next round of likes is on us

The next round of “likes” is on us…

We already shared the worst of social media in 2013, so here’s to the best…or at least our own approximation of it.

OBVIOUS DISCLAIMER IS OBVIOUS: Yes, this list is highly subjective and you’re going to see some repetition/glaring omissions. But such is the nature of year-end clickbait, no?

Here, then, are the stories that demonstrated what social media meant to us and our industry in 2013.

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Starbucks Joins the Black Friday Black Eye to the Holidays

Kinda says it all to me after this holiday buzzkill news

Kinda says it all to me after this holiday buzzkill news

Sure, there’s a Starbucks on every corner. If you don’t believe me, listen to the great Lewis Black explain it.

Now, I understand Starbucks thinks it is a retail giant, but it’s not. Admit it, O’ siren of the coffee bean. You sell addiction in a nicely tight package of prepubescent angst.

Your smarmy baristas may be happy to provide some fattening lemon, pumpkin or other fru-fru bread, but you are placed on every street corner in the known world to sell coffee.

Your PR is for coffee. Your products are known as coffee. Your bottom line is laced in it.

So, far be it from me — who just loves all this Thanksgiving Thursday / Black Friday hurry-hurry-sell-till-you-puke-mess — to allow a moment like this to go by without a comment of snark. But Santa has decided that Starbucks would be better served as a big box retail store than a depot for hipsters ogling over each other’s skinny jeans and graphic tees.

According to the ConsumeristStarbucks’ Black Friday deal is $65 for a stainless steel tumbler that comes with an entire month’s worth of free espresso-based beverages.

Well, dip me in a caramel macchiato and call me java mama. I hope this comes with an appointment to an internist because your damn liver and kidneys may have something for you by New Years.

Starbucks Is Now on the Rails… In Switzerland

StarbuckswagenEuropean train travel has always conjured images of adventure or romance in classic movies. But in America, trips by rail seem to be more about getting from point A to point B. Now Starbucks has set out to capture the cachet of Continental railway voyages by branding a café car on the InterCity train from Geneva’s airport to St. Gallen in Switzerland.

Starbucks is also continuing its expansion plan to serve customers worldwide in community gathering spots using local designs. In 2001 the brand established a Swiss retail presence, and now they have 53 stores in the country. They partnered with Swiss Federal Railways, aka SBB, on this venture. Here the SBB initials don’t signify “Starbucks brand building”; they’re the Swiss-German translation of the national railway’s name. Switzerland was Starbucks’ first outpost in Continental Europe, and now this is the first train in the world with a Starbucks café.

SBB said their objectives are to enhance the on-board experience for their passengers by offering new food and beverage selections on Swiss trains.”Starbucks’ popularity in Switzerland spoke for our cooperation”, said Jeannine Pilloud, director of SBB’s passenger transportation. “We want our customers to enjoy a pleasant journey and to feel at home while traveling with us”, she added. Pilloud spoke during a recent preview in Zurich, as reported by Swiss media outlets.

The train cafe combines key branding elements and colors from both organizations, and the design process took two years. The design challenges were notable, including the “constant movement of the train, space limitations and stringent safety regulations”, according to Liz Muller, Starbucks’ creative director of global design. “This is one of the smallest espresso bars and stores we have ever designed”, she said.

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SNL Takes Pumpkin Spice Marketing Craze to Disturbingly Hilarious New Level

548598_660301498939_1284024367_n1-300x225As a lifelong New Englander, I am a self-proclaimed sucker for all things autumn — I know it’s an evil marketing ploy that gets me to shell out my hard-earned cash for “limited time” treats like pumpkin spice tea and apple cinnamon candles, but something in my Massachsuetts blood overrides my cynicism and makes me unable to resist the nearly maniacal joy I get from celebrating my favorite season.

And I’m not alone — remember when the whole world came to a screeching halt last fall when many Starbucks locations ran out of the syrup that allows them to make Pumpkin Spice Lattes? Pandemonium, I tell you!

Now, SNL has taken the pumpkin spice craze to its inevitably horrific precipice, melding the autumnal marketing madness with the equally ridiculous (but far less awesome) marketing of feminine hygiene products. Yep, it’s exactly as bad as you think it is. This is one “warm and spicy” product I’d have no trouble resisting…

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