Mother 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.