Starbucks: Give Away Coffee, Receive (Media) Buzz


Starbucks’ Election Day “free coffee if you voted” PR stunt has received quite a fair amount of press, including a mention here on PRNewser. The campaign was simple, and despite a last minute readjustment to deal with a legal issue, went off rather well.

AdAge’s Emily Bryson York takes a deeper dive today:

Starbucks’ cost per cup is about 30¢, according to several executives familiar with the matter, which would put the cost of the giveaway at about $170,000.

Not bad at all, considering the resulting buzz and media coverage outweighed the marketing spend:

An executive familiar with the matter estimated the “Saturday Night Live” spot could have cost as much as $350,000. But the value of coverage relating to the giveaway — from The Wall Street Journal, CNBC and Newsweek, to name a few — as well as rampant blog chatter likely superseded the chain’s investment. Many of those organizations, including the Journal, posted the Starbucks commercial along with their stories.

Read the full story here.