The Shapiro Files

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Another Sign of the End of Times

Has there been a more misguided and tonally wrong ad campaign than this?

While I do give Starbucks credit for helping to raise the level of sophistication of the average American coffee drinker, its fatal flaw has never been the price of its coffee: it's the poor quality of that coffee! Because Starbucks' bean selection and brewing process has never been even close to real coffee houses like Peets, they've effectively trained their customers to chose more caloric and sugar-filled items on their menu--drinks that indeed are more pricey than plain coffee. But in these tough economic times, such drinks are perceived as luxury items, meaning customers are likely to revert to plain old coffee. However, Starbuck's lousy coffee leaves these customers no other alternative in their stores and the result is a loss of business. Thus, I find it more than just a little ironic that the main argument (a defensive one at that) of the new campaign is that their presumed superior coffee is worth paying a little extra for.

So just how off the mark is this new campaign? Look no further than this video of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz speaking to a group of painfully stilted employees acting as though there are actually people who have never heard of a Starbucks before.


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