Leaving away the typical Starbucks Coffee’s advertising campaigns that only showed pictures of their products (coffee latte, cappuccino, etc), now the american retailer surprises us with an interactive video “Meet me at Starbucks” on YouTube, where consumers (around the world) are the protagonists of this new campaign.
This was a huge and challenging project because the video mini-documentary was filmed in 59 different stores in 28 countries (for example cities such as London, New York, Buenos Aires, Mexico, Taipei, Mumbai, Vienna, Madrid) during one day.
Also, 39 local film-makers and 10 photographers were involved in the project that recorded 220 hours of footage. The creative agency 72andSunny was responsible for this campaign. You can watch this video here: Meet me at Starbucks.
Starbucks Coffee is a well positioned brand worldwide and taking advantage of this position, the retailer decided to make something new and different with the aim of engaging and connecting with people by appealing to their emotions and feelings. At the same time, it wanted to show a human side of the brand.
To achieve these goals, the coffee shop decided to use the power of social networks to create an emotional video released on YouTube, where the protagonists are the same customers with its stories and experiences.
According to Leeflang et al.,(2014) “advocates of social media see it as a way to create value-added content for customers…also be a way to connect more strongly with customers and to engage them in the value creation”.
“The use of social media also creates a tremendous increase in customer insights, including how consumers are interacting with each other and the products and services they consume”. Leeflang et al.,(2014).
Starbucks Coffee was monitoring the behavior of their customers on social networks and how they made use of these ones. So, the retailer noted that people were arranging meetings at Starbucks stores using social media channels. Also, some customers made videos of these meetings and published them on social networks.
“Social media offer opportunities to stimulate and to measure social interrelations among customers” Chen, X et al., 2013 cited in Leeflang, 2014).
Using this important customer information, Starbucks launched its First Global Brand Campaign creating an interactive video that was made with real customers, situations and facts, people from different countries, languages and cultures who feel comfortable and happy drinking a coffee in Starbucks.
“We live in stories. We breathe stories. Most of our best conversations are about stories…Stories are about particular humans, no substitutions allowed…Stories are told in a human voice”. Levine, R et al. (2000).
What kind of situations happen in a coffee shop? “Meet me at Starbucks” launched in YouTube tells the real stories of people who meet in the coffee shop, couples in love, business meetings, teenage friends playing music, elderly people and more different situations.
Moreover, the retailer is encouraging its customers to post their own pictures and stories on the Instagram of the coffee shop with the hashtag #HowWeMet. Also, there is a plan to use the social networks Twitter and Tumblr for the same purpose.
This campaign is a good example of using the content marketing and user- generated content to engage people with the brand in order to improve the customer experience and perception about it. Furthermore, making relationships, creating experiences around the brand and interaction with the customers.
“Not conversing, participating, is not an option. If we don’t engage people inside and outside our organisation in conversation, someone else will. Start talking”. Levine, R et al. (2000).
In conclusion, the american brand reinforces the idea that “only good things happen in Starbucks Coffee” and you can share and make memories with your friends of these unforgettable moments. For that reason is the slogan: “Meet me at Starbucks”.
What do you think of this new campaign? Do you think it will be successful and achieve its objectives? Please share your opinion about this innovative campaign.
Leeflang, P et al. (2014) Challenges and solutions for marketing in a digital era. European Management Journal. pp.1-12
Levine, R et al. (2000) The Cluetrain Manifesto: The end of business as usual.
Nudd, T. (2014) Starbucks Tells Your Story, Not Its Own, in First Global Brand Campaign [online], September. Available at: http://www.adweek.com. [Accessed 16th October, 2014]
Sebastian, J. (2014) Starbucks EMEA marketing boss on deepening engagement with the brand [online], September. Available at: http://www.marketingweek.com. [Accessed 16th October, 2014]
Sebastian, J. (2014) Starbucks launches first global brand campaign [online], September. Available at: http://www.marketingweek.com. [Accessed 16th October, 2014]
Starbucks Coffee (2014) Meet me at Starbucks. [online video]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/user/Starbucks. [Accessed 16th October, 2014]
72andSunny (2014) Meet me at Starbucks [online]. Available at: http://www.72andsunny.com. [Accessed 16th October, 2014]
8 thoughts on “Starbucks Coffee shows its human face in social networks with a global campaign”
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Thank you for that.
I’ve just read your post and I’ve found it very intesting. It’s so true that when you go to a cafe you don’t just go there to have a coffee, with that cup of coffee you are sharing a part of your life with the people you are meeting there.
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Dear Veronica, yes you are right like the idea of this campaign, it is about connecting people. Thank you for your comments. You are welcome!
Your post is a nice and interesting reading. I agree with you, I think is a very clever campaign by Starbucks—showing that they are not just another fast-food global company. They realised that they are not the usual fast-food global restaurant, but a cafe. Cafes historically has been a place where people go for many reasons—to meet up friends, to fall in love, to work alone or with colleagues, to have business meetings, to spend time with your family, and so on and so forth. I think Starbucks campaign accomplishes its goal, that is, to invite people to go to their branches around the world and continue to what they usually do—enjoy being with their loved ones. What I liked most about the campaign is the diversity of the video, that we can see people from around the world and even people with hearing impairment. That is, Starbucks is showing that they support diversity. However, I have to say something that I found not quite right. The interactive video and the extended stories on YouTube is almost entirely in English language and privileges sites from the United States. Only three stories are set up outside the US: in Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Hong Kong, but only the latest story is the local language (Chinese). I think the campaign would have been more inclusive and more interesting (and probably more successful) if it had included stories in other languages different than English.
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Dear Cesar, you have a very interesting point of view, maybe Starbucks Coffee should customize the videos for each country or region with their own languages, and thus more customers would feel identified in the campaign. It is the first global campaign of the coffee shop and meets its objectives to humanize the brand and this would be probably a successful viral campaign..We will see….Thank you for your comments. You are welcome!
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Hi dear Lourdes! You did a very good analysis about the new Starbucks’ campaign. Nowadays is important that big companies develop a human face, where customers have an essential place. I agree with both of you, cafés are becoming in places where people share good times with friends, loved ones and family. I think the video is successful in showing this: it makes you feel that you belong to a global community. I hope more global companies launch similar campaigns, in which you are not only a customer, but a person with meaningful relationships.
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Dear Maricela, yes I think that Starbucks Coffee has surprised everybody with this new campaign because this one does not show the typical pictures of coffee cups and coffee, instead shows its clients with real stories. This campaign connects easily to the public as it did with you. Thank you for your comments. You are welcome!