Lots of posts about Starbucks partnering with Lions Gate Films to promote the movie Akeelah and The Bee. Ok, I had never heard of the movie prior to reading some of these posts and I haven’t seen any merchandising or advertising in my local Starbucks.
Brand Autopsy posts on the upside of this deal for Starbucks:
The financial upside for Starbucks with this partnership is tremendous. It’s my understanding Starbucks is paying Lions Gate NO MONEY. Instead, Starbucks is trading real estate space in its 5,500+ North American stores to promote this movie. By placing signage in-stores ranging from posters, to coffee cup sleeves, and placards alongside muffins in the pastry case, Starbucks will receive a share of box office sales, merchandising revenue, television rights, soundtrack sales, and DVD sales (including sales at non-Starbucks locations). We are talking about Starbucks potentially receiving millions upon millions of incremental dollars that can go directly to the bottom-line.
And they also post about the downside:
. . . violating the trust of customers and store employees. Customers and employees have come to expect Starbucks not to treat them like tools in the marketing promotional game.
I haven’t seen any of the advertising yet, so it’s hard for me to how invasive it is or isn’t. However, I agree with Brand Autopsy that Starbucks thus far has been very careful about how they market non-Starbucks products and seem to be moving away from that to chase dollars.
Then I saw a post on Church of the Customer that provided more information on how invasive the advertising is going to be:
. . . you plan to advertise movies on cup sleeves, offer trivia games on chalk boards, and feature words from films in the pastry cases
Wow, that’s sounds a lot like McDonald's to me.
I especially like this quote that Church of the Customer offers up:
The underlying foundation of this company is not about growth. It is about the passionate, soulful connection we have with our people, [and] our customers...No matter how many avenues [we pursue], and now matter how much we grow, our fundamental core values and purpose won't change.
Captures the essence of exactly why Starbucks shouldn’t be doing this, doesn’t it? I bet you might not be able to guess where it’s from. It’s from Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time by Howard Schulz, CEO of Starbucks.