Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chapter 17: Advertising and Public Relations

According to AdvertisingAge, "Starbucks has long been something of a curiosity in the marketing world because it has spent so much less on traditional advertising than other big chains.  And yet, it's been doing better than what almost anyone expected from it a few years ago."
As shown in this ad campaign video, Starbucks focuses on word-of-mouth promotion.  CEO Howard Schultz makes it important to relay the information and give the customer the experience they expect from Starbucks.  Here and there, consumers encounter advertisements in magazines, train stations, buses, newspapers, or a few commercial ads.  Starbucks also promotes within other companies (as shown in the video below).

Also stated in AdvertisingAge, certain marketing initiatives for Starbucks includes social-media efforts and advertising for certain new or seasonal products (Frappacino and Pumpkin Spice Latte are a  few examples).  Starbucks has had a digital scavenger hunt featuring Lady Gaga and promoted for its 40th anniversary, with one example having MyStarbucksSignature, a website which lets customer create customized drinks.
Starbucks uses product advertising, showing the benefits of a specific good or service, and some pioneering advertising, a form of advertising designed to stimulate primary demand for a new product of product category.  Most of Starbucks advertising is a form of competitive advertising, designed to influence demand for a specific brand or product.  Starbucks doesn't show competition in their ads however, as other companies may in using competitive advertising form.  Even though these ads are out there, the frequency of them are not as vast as other company ads, particularly coffee companies (Dunkin' Donuts, McDonald's McCafe, etc).  Starbucks wants to remind the customer the pleasent experience once walking into a Starbucks and enjoying their product.

Explained in an earlier blog post on Chapter 6, Starbucks has a lot of product placement within TV shows and movies, such as Sex and the City, I Am Sam, Devil Wears Prada, and many more (check out Few Starbucks Feature Films for some more).  Product placement is a public relations strategy that involves getting a product, service, or company name to appear in a movie, television show, radio program, magazine, newspaper, video game, etc.  This increases the advertising and promotion of that particular product, service or company.  This has been increasing over time since advertising is easily ignored. 

Now in the case of emergencies, a company always has to be prepared for any repercussions at hand.  Starbucks had an advertising mishap where they had been advertising for their TazoCitrus drinks and the advertising was struck as familiar to the 9/11 attacks (shown to the right), especially since it occurred shortly before the ad would've released.

In a press release shortly after the ad had been seen, it was stated: "We deeply regret if this ad was in any way misinterpreted to be insensitive or offensive, as this was never our intent.  The poster, promoting Tazo Citrus and Tazoberry beverages, was designed to create a magical place using bright colors and whimsical elements such as palm trees and dragonflies."  Starbucks Press Release 6/16/2002
The ad was pulled and replaced with this:


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