Selling Frappuccinos in the UK

Below, I have embedded an ad from a campaign that Unruly Media is running in the UK for Starbucks. I would like to hear your opinion. Beneath the video, I have given mine.

One of the challenges for any company is to decide if it wants to go for fast growth and large profits, sacrificing a few of its values along the way, or if it wants to remain true to its roots, even if it has to sacrifice some economic gains. For most businesses, profits come first. This is especially true for public companies, where there is tremendous pressure put on management by the shareholders to go for growth and profits. I think you can guess which path Starbucks chose.

Starbucks began as a place that wanted to be true to the coffee and the café experience. Now it boldly sells milkshakes, with whipped cream and caramel sauce.

To be honest, I like the graphics, the bright colors and the crisp audio of the spot. It has a sharp feel to it. The business school-trained part of me thinks it’s a fine ad, and I know that Frappuccinos have some of the best profit margins at Starbucks, so I understand the reasons for the campaign. At the end, however, watching this ad reminds me why Starbucks took the “Coffee” out of its new logo. How about you?

[Disclosure: Unruly Media, an advertising company, asked me to write an editorial about the ad. Feel free to pass it on to anyone you know in the UK]

It's Hard to be Julia

I think I’m in the wrong line of work. Reportedly, Julia Roberts pulled in a million plus for shooting an ad for Lavazza’s automatic espresso machine—without saying anything. All she does is sip an espresso and smile. Here's the commercial—Don’t worry if you don’t understand what the Italian actors are saying. From the look on her face, I don’t think Julia does either.

Apparently she really does have a million dollar smile. That means that mine ought to be worth at least a cup of coffee (maybe even a vacuum pot). I think I’ll have my agent call Lavazza’s marketing department. . .

In other celebrity coffee endorsement news, George Clooney and John Malkovich team up to sell Nespresso.

A longer version of the ad is here. George and John aren't doing so badly for themselves either.