Starbucks has given one of its best-selling coffees a new name and packaging. The move comes as the coffee giant looks to increase awareness of its community volunteerism efforts.
Gold Coast Blend—sold since 1987 and considered Starbucks’ “biggest and most flavorful blend,” per the company—has been renamed to Gold Coast Blend: Morning Joe Edition. The naming is not coincidental. Starbucks earlier this year announced a partnership with MSNBC's Morning Joe talk show, and charity-themed events were part of that deal.
To promote the product, Starbucks and MSNBC have teamed up to launch “Brewing Together Day of Service,” a call-to-action campaign kicking off on Nov. 21, which encourages Starbucks and Morning Joe fans to volunteer in their communities. HandsOn Network, the nation’s largest volunteer organization, is assisting interested individuals in finding volunteer opportunities. (Starbucks last year pledged to donate one million community service hours by 2015; so far, it hit the 246,000 mark.)
Starbucks and MSNBC handled the media and creative (both in-house), with counsel from PR Agency, Edelman. The new packaging is also being promoted via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and Catalina coupons.
To kick off the event, Morning Joe is broadcasting its Friday, Nov. 20 show live from the John McDonogh School in New Orleans. The show’s hosts—Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist—are participating in a volunteer project and Starbucks employees and the company’s U.S. operations president, Cliff Burrows, will also join them.
Starbucks, however, is no stranger to Morning Joe. The show’s TV personalities have been known to sip Starbucks on air for many years, but it wasn’t until May of this year that Starbucks was formally named one of the show’s sponsors.
Starbucks sees the initiative as the next step in its MSNBC Morning Joe sponsorship. “It’s an honor to be a co-sponsor of 'Brewing Together Day of Service' and to help bring communities together to inspire change while making a difference in people’s lives,” Burrows, of Starbucks, said. “It’s what Starbucks has always believed in—being a good neighbor and doing things that are good for each other and the planet.”