A strawsome relationship.
We’ve partnered with Starbucks since 2014. We were the AOR that put Starbucks onto social and wrote their original social media playbook.
We guided them to be the first to leverage emerging platform features on Snapchat and Twitter. All to help them make their mark as a savvy, pioneering brand that gets their consumer and moves culture.
From red cups to green straws.
Thanks to its iconic Red Cup, Starbucks had a lock on winter coffee. In 2014, the brand was ready to stake a claim on warmer seasons, so they asked us: What’s the Red Cup of summer?
We tuned into the audience to see how they expressed their love of Starbucks when the temps went up. When we saw an emerging trend of people posting selfies while sipping their Frappuccinos, we had our hook.
Show us how you #sipface.
Leaning into organic user behavior, we came up with the Sipface campaign.
Launched during the countdown to summer’s Frappuccino Happy Hour promotion, it kicked off with a gallery of selected UGC photos on frappuccino.com inviting fans to vote for their fave.
From cars to pets to group shots—people loved to show off how they sipped. When T. Rex became the channel‘s most-liked post ever, it inspired fans to explore new ways to bring the idea to life.
The face of success.
By the following summer, Frappuccino was established as the go-to drink for warm-weather fun, boasting 12 million followers. To break into new audiences, we issued a simple mission to 26 creative influencers:
Grab a Frappuccino and go #MakeSomeFun.
Grab a Frappuccino and go #MakeSomeFun.
That was all the inspiration they needed to produce more than 90 pieces of original content and tap thirsty fans on channels without an established Frappuccino presence, such as Vine, YouTube and Snapchat.
#MakeSomeFun engaged 20 million new individuals...
...without any paid media and boosted YOY in-store sales.
Myth. Legend. Latte.
Though his fame now seems predestined, @TheRealPSL only hit the internet in 2014, birthed by our insight that Pumpkin Spice Latte fanatics loved celebrity Twitter accounts.
We created his punchy personality and let it loose on dedicated Twitter and Tumblr accounts, teasing an early release of the drink for followers. Hints and clues drove latte-lovers to specific stores to “unlock” the first PSLs of the season.
Beyond the in-store sales boost, we helped Starbucks achieve PeakPSL status in pop culture.
It’s fall y’all.
He returned in 2015, after an off-season spent coming to grips with his newfound celebrity. He got on Instagram. He pondered changing up his signature shades. He expressed many deep thoughts. And kept the craze piping hot.
TheRealPSL got a posse of his own.
Frappuccino fans go wild for secret menu drinks. We knew a campaign spotlighting off-the-menu blends would resonate with consumers, so we put six flavors into a battle for the Fan Favorite title.
We created worlds and personas for each drink for a global contest that lived in digital and led to IRL product creation across 17,000 stores.
Over a 2-week voting spree, the “Flav Off” sparked more than 2 million votes and 1.6 million unique visitors to Frappuccino.com.
While Caramel Cocoa Cluster was the top vote getter, Cotton Candy had even higher sales and was the most shared drink on Instagram.
People voted for taste, but they bought Cotton Candy for the ‘gram: 1 out of every 3 people who bought the drink posted about it online.
We took this insight to the Starbucks product team, recommending they look into developing limited-time-offer drinks with high visual impact, preferably ones that looked ultra magical. They listened.
Cue Unicorn Frappuccino explosion in 3, 2, 1...
Unicorns spotted in the wild.
The Unicorn did more than build momentum. It blew the &*#% up.
The fans have spoken.
Our research showed that 1:1 messaging was heating up with Starbucks’ target consumers. We knew there was an opportunity to connect with them where they were already chatting.
It’s OK to be emoj-tional.
To bring the brand into these conversations with a fresh (green) face, we launched a series of 30+ custom emojis, GIFs, and stickers to let fans express vibes and reactions in full color.
It was the first branded PopKey keyboard in the market, and Starbucks was one of the first global brands to debut custom content across mobile messaging apps.
Fans asked, we delivered.
Take it with you.
In 2018, Starbucks asked us to uncork a couple shots of awesomeness for their line of bottled Frappuccinos.
We crafted a series of short Snapchat ads in the form of visually-arresting animations—carnival games, Rube Goldberg machines, and the like—to hype S'mores, Coffee and Mocha flavors.
These thumbstoppers performed so strongly in summer, Starbucks brought them back for an additional run a few months later.
For over 5 years we’ve helped Starbucks stand out from the crowd across the digital landscape. From building social-first campaigns to embracing channel innovations to using consumer insights to help influence product development, we fueled it all with a our own blend of incisive strategy, rich data and breakthrough creative.
And we’re still brewing up fresh ideas.