TVNewser AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Posts Tagged ‘Starbucks’

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.

Read more

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…

Reasons Why Starbucks’ Political Campaigns Frequently Fall Flat

starbucks coffeeMother Jones took the time to dig into six Starbucks campaigns that addressed political issues and ultimately resulted in absolutely nothing. Mind you, these campaigns made some noise. People knew about them. They were discussed in the media. But they did nothing in the way of alleviating the problems they were meant to address. The most recent fail was the “Pay It Forward” campaign that asked customers to sign a petition to end the debt ceiling debate and somehow tied free cups of coffee into the idea of unity.

A spokesperson for the company, Zack Hutson, said the company just wanted to “encourage kindness and civility.”

That unity theme popped up in last year’s “Come Together” campaign in which baristas wrote the words “come together” on customers’ cups and in some way that I’m not sure I understand, there was a “Fix the Debt” message.

Then there was the 2008 campaign where they gave away free coffee to people who voted, until they found out that that campaign violated election laws. LOL.

So clearly the first problem is that these campaigns don’t make much sense. The second is that someone in legal needs to be fired. But the third problem might go to the root of the repeated fails.

Read more

Starbucks ‘DuffinGate’ Controversy Continues Unabated


However you may feel about Starbucks coffee, the brand and its CEO Howard Schultz are brilliant at identifying the latest cultural trend and turning it into a marketing opportunity. This week the chain sponsored a petition urging our government to “Open It Back Up” and included some sort of deal in which customers get a free coffee if they buy one for someone else (which doesn’t make too much sense but it’s brilliant all the same).

In the UK, however, one of the brand’s latest campaigns tastes a little bitter—much like its coffee.

Read more

How to Help Your Brand Connect to LGBT Audiences

Now that the majority of Americans (if not the majority of American states) have accepted same-sex marriage and effectively welcomed the LGBT community into mainstream culture, brand strategists are brainstorming over how to make the most of a large and passionate demographic. Why? Well, gay men and women do “have the largest amount of disposable income of any niche market,” so…money.

That’s according to Community Marketing Inc., a gay-centric research organization that just released its 7th annual LGBT community survey of more than 30,000 consumers in 100 different countries. Their findings should help marketing/PR pros better understand the community.

The fact that LGBT individuals “keep up with online media” isn’t much of a revelation, but here are some more interesting conclusions:

  • “LGBT” is the preferred term for gays, bisexuals and transgender individuals, though gay men are equally receptive to the phrase “gay and lesbian”. Words like “queer”, “rainbow” and “gay-welcoming” are less effective (probably because they’re condescending).
  • Consumers prefer that corporate communications refer to their legal relationships with the terms “spouse” or “husband/wife”, though “partner” also works. Dated terms like “significant other” and “gay couple” don’t test so well.

Starbucks Asks Customers to Leave Their Guns at Home

If your morning plans included sipping a mocha frappe at your local Starbucks while lovingly polishing your Colt 45, the coffee shop chain kindly requests that you reconsider, and leave the gun at home.

Many U.S. restaurants and shops don’t allow firearms on their properties as part of their company policies, but because Starbucks’ policy has been to default to local gun laws, including “open carry” regulations that allow people to bring firearms into stores in many U.S. states, the chain has been dragged into the heated debate over gun rights.

This past August, in order to thank the coffee shop chain for what they saw as a firearm-friendly policy, gun-rights advocates held a national “Starbucks Appreciation Day” at multiple Starbucks locations nationwide. One of these locations included Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were shot dead in an elementary school last December. Though Starbucks had the foresight to close that shop before the event was scheduled to begin, the Appreciation Day events pulled the company deeper into the contentious political debate.

In an effort to distance itself from the controversy, and to make it clear that Starbucks does not sponsor or advocate the carrying of loaded firearms in public, chief executive Howard Schultz said in an open letter late Tuesday that Starbucks Appreciation Day events “disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of ‘open carry.’ To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores.” He went on to say that:

Read more

PR Win: Bloomberg’s Sign-Language Specialist Becomes an Advocate for the Deaf

Hey, remember Lydia Callis? Sure you do—she became an instant YouTube celebrity last October for her repeat appearances at New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s side during Hurricane Sandy. Her animated sign-language style and the obvious passion she poured into her job endeared her to millions; she even inspired a Saturday Night Live skit.

So what’s she doing now? She’s parlayed her fame into a new role as an advocate for the deaf in New York. Right now she’s leading sign-language tours at New York Public Library, but her ambitious goal is to make more Americans aware of the challenges their hearing-impaired neighbors face every day. It’s a real problem—deaf customers recently filed a lawsuit against Starbucks for discrimination at the coffee shop’s Manhattan branches.

Speaking to the New York Times about the media frenzy, she said:

Seriously, when is this going to die down? Wow, people just really don’t know much about the deaf community.

Lydia knows of what she speaks: while she is not deaf, her mother and three siblings are, so ASL was her first language. Seems like she’d make a perfect advocate, no?

Here’s the clip in case you forgot:

Newtown Starbucks Closed to Prevent Gun Control ‘Debate’ Event

The best way to manage the damage from a PR crisis is to avoid it altogether, right?  In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it story, Starbucks scored a pre-emptive crisis comms win last Friday by closing the branch located in Newtown, Connecticut—the same town where a gunman killed 26 people, most of them schoolchildren, last December.

Why? Because several gun rights advocacy groups declared August 9th “Starbucks Appreciation Day” and planned to celebrate the fact that the company does not prohibit weapons inside its stores issue by, yes, bringing their guns to the coffee shop for a publicity stunt.

That’s not all:

Read more

Dunkin’ Donuts Becomes First Fast Food Chain to Offer Gluten-Free Pastries

Pastry enthusiasts on gluten-free diets need no longer stare longingly across the counter at forbidden blueberry muffins while ordering their Dunkin’ Donuts coffee — soon they’ll be able to indulge in some sweet treats alongside their wheat-tolerant friends.

D&D chains will sell gluten-free cinnamon-sugar doughnuts and blueberry muffins across the U.S. this year, Stan Frankenthaler, the company’s executive chef, said in an e-mail. “We recognize the importance of providing our guests with many options, including alternative choices for people with food and dietary restrictions,” he said.

Though gluten-free certainly doesn’t necessarily mean low calorie — your waistline will still probably thank you for skipping the doughnut, gluten-free or otherwise –  this move demosntrates that the company is invested in providing its customers with options that fit their lifestyles. And because Starbucks and McDonald’s are both proving a bit slower to jump on the gluten-free bandwagon, Dunkin is poised to become a pioneer.

Not to mention the fact that it’s probably a good strategy for the brand to appear somewhat health-conscious after its recent introduction of a bacon, egg and doughnut breakfast sandwich.

Star‘s James Heidenry: ‘If a publicist wants to serve their clients, they should have a good relationship with us’

In Mediabistro’s latest So What Do You Do? interview, Star editor-in-chief James Heidenry tackles his newsstand nemeses head-on, calling People and Us Weekly “the mouthpiece of celebrity publicists” – and he didn’t mean that in a positive way. 

“They covet these relationships with the publicists, and as a result they don’t say negative things about the celebrities, something like a famous person getting caught cheating, whereas we don’t have any such relationships,” he explained.

Although the pub isn’t necessarily beholden to PR pros, said Heidenry, getting on his team’s good side can sometimes work in your favor. “If a publicist wants to serve their clients, they should have a good relationship with us, because, frankly, we do have stories on certain people that we hold, because we like the relationship with the publicist and we’ve done Q&A with the celebrity in the past or photo shoots with them,” he said. 

Read the full interview in So What Do You Do, James Heidenry, Editor-in-Chief of Star?

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>