Saturday, November 11, 2006

Starbucks 'cheer' campaign

Advertising Age reports that Starbucks is using a new viral campaign to spread holiday cheer and build its brand. In its holiday marketing, the company will be surprising people with a variety of free goodies, such as free subway MetroCards in Manhattan, free movie ticktes in Chicago etc. Starbucks is wanting its cutomers to pass on the holiday cheer to others, by doing simple good deeds such as holding the door open for someone or buying a cup of coffee for someone, and in doing so will recieve a 'cheer pass' which is a numbered card that tracks the person's effort.
As much social experiment as buzz campaign, Starbucks is hoping the cheer-pass recipients take the individually numbered cards and log on to the coffee chain's holiday microsite,, to share how and where they received the pass. The idea is to follow how long people can sustain the "chain of cheer." Of course, the site also will promote a trio of holiday coffee blends and other gifts consumers can buy through Starbucks.

"I'll be happy if we create a single cheer chain," said Brad Stevens, VP-marketing for Starbucks. He said he's more interested in the qualitative response, as the effort has no traditional marketing metrics tied to it.

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