Last week, Starbucks launched its first-ever global branding campaign. It may come as a surprise to many that such a huge international company has yet to advertise their brand on a global scale. The “Meet me at Starbucks” campaign features people from all around the world, and strongly emphasizes the relationships people cultivate when meeting at Starbucks. This customer-based approach is significantly different than Starbucks’ typical approach of product-based advertising.
The campaign chronicles a typical day for a Starbucks retail location in the form of a mini-documentary. The documentary was filmed in 59 different stores throughout 28 different countries utilizing 39 local filmmakers, 10 local photographers, and one creative directing agency by the name of 72andSunny. The icing on the cake lies in the fact that the entire film footage was shot on the same day.
The 220 hours of footage feature the multiple walks-of-life that routinely patron Starbucks locations for a variety of reasons. The film from Honolulu featured a group of hearing impaired friends that meet regularly at a Starbucks. Other featured patrons included a group of scrapbooking women, teenage friends, elderly couples, band try-outs, and more.
The spokeswoman for Starbucks, Linda Mills, said the campaign sprouted from the idea that there are so many ways for people to connect electronically, but unless you are face-to-face, a true connection is lost. This idea is strongly supported in the sense of “togetherness” the campaign portrays through the wide breadth of featured human connections.
The campaign started with Starbucks monitoring its customers on social media to determine what people are saying about the brand and what type of content they are creating on behalf of the brand. Starbucks noticed that there were several videos on YouTube of people creating their content from inside a Starbucks location. This told Starbucks that stories were being created inside their stores, and they wanted to feature these stories so the entire world could see. The original intention for the campaign was to create a film based off the videos already made, but as the project evolved, Starbucks recognized that this campaign needed presented on a larger scale.
The campaign will started its horn-tooting with a 60-second spot that is an abbreviated version of the documentary. The ad can be seen on select TV stations and YouTube. The documentary is available online for immediate viewing. The campaign is supposed to be ongoing, so we can expect to see additions to the documentary. The integrated campaign will also feature online display ads and a social media hashtag, #HowWeMet. The social campaign will encourage Starbucks fans to share their moments in the store by using the hashtag in conjunction with their social post.
The campaign is predicted to be a success. The human touch can go a long way, especially when the message genuinely correlates with real life brand experiences. The connections featured in the “Meet me at Starbucks” campaign are genuine, and anyone who has been to a Starbucks would be able to recognize the sincerity. The campaign acts as an inspiration to viewers to reach out and make connections, but it would be great if you could do that at a Starbucks near you.