Every holiday season since 1997, Starbucks has served its customers coffee in cups uniquely decorated with traditional symbols of Christmas. Warm, holidays, makes sense.
Last year when Starbucks introduced its plain red cup, it was met with some very unexpected drama. The intent of the red cup was to provide a blank canvas for the coffee giant’s doodling customers to tell their own Christmas story.
The problem: 1. Not everyone’s an artist and 2. When it comes to the holidays, Americans like tradition (no matter how modern and simplistic we profess to be).
The public’s reaction was insane. Based on the social media frenzy, we were all pretty sure Starbucks had just killed Christmas.
Fast-forward to holiday cup 2016 where Starbucks has brought Christmas back in a big way! Thirteen traditionally, festive red and white cup designs have been unveiled, which are the result of crowd-sourced customer contest curated via Instagram last December. It was a smart move on Starbucks part to quickly create a consumer engagement program to help justify the plain red cup. Another smart move, Starbucks takes that multitude of angry 2015 tweets, posts and videos and uses them in the brand’s 2016 holiday cup teaser spot.
Now that’s how you turn an unforeseeable debacle into a winning campaign! Fantastic!