Starbucks’ End-the-Shutdown Petition Spans Social, Mobile and Print

Other brands jump into fight over government funding

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz doesn't exactly shy away from politics, and he's gone all-in today on affecting the national debate about the federal government shutdown. The coffee retail exec appears in an Instagram video, asking patrons this weekend to sign a petition to end the shutdown, accenting a larger, text-based effort.

The #ComeTogether campaign, requesting president Barack Obama and congressional leader John Boehner come to an agreement to fund Uncle Sam, includes posts to the brand's huge Facebook and Twitter followings.

Early results show 24,000 likes for the Instagram video, Starbucks trending nationally on Twitter, and 72,000 likes for the brand's Facebook post.

What's more, Shultz's Seattle-based company bought full-page ads in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and The Washington Post with copy set against the backdrop of a Starbucks paper coffee cup. The campaign includes a mobile marketing feature as well, asking readers to text message a short code to show support for ending the shutdown.

Starbucks in recent months has also taken a strong stance on gun control and cigarettes. But Schultz and Co. is not the only brand jumping into the Beltway fight over government funding.

Century 21 yesterday released a video, created by Mullen, suggesting the realty brand has a great house in which Obama and Boehner could meet for more fruitful discussions. The recommended destination is in Sunnyvale, Calif., which is roughly the midpoint between the two politicians' home states (Hawaii for POTUS, Ohio for the Speaker of the House).

Copy from the initiative: "It's a cozy, 3-bedroom, 2-bath ranch with gleaming hardwood floors throughout, peaceful wooded surroundings and a spacious, inviting living-room, perfect for a heartfelt fireside chat."

Below is a sampling of the creative being utilized by Starbucks and Century 21.