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It’s not just coffee. False.

A new ad campaign has been launched by Starbucks to justify its pricing and to emphasize that entering their store and buying their coffee is more than just entering their store and buying their coffee.

Slogans include “beware of a cheaper cup of coffee, it comes with a price,” and “because compromise leaves a bad aftertaste.”

To refute slogan one, an overpriced cup of coffee comes with a price too. The average 12 oz. “tall” coffee at Starbucks is $1.55, 55 cents more expensive than it is at most convenience stores and almost the same price as a 20 oz. coffee at Dunkin Donuts ($1.60). I realize that different folks have different strokes, but the taste is not $.55 a cup better. Sorry. We are in a recession, and even a quarter a day leads to a net-loss of nearly $100.

And to refute slogan two, a ripoff leaves a bad aftertaste as well.

My personal favorite is the “it’s not what you’re buying but what you’re buying into.” What a crock of shit. I’m sorry, but you’re not “buying into” anything other than false premises. Starbucks does nothing differently than McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, or 7-11. They don’t give their profits to the ill or orphaned, and they don’t have the charm of a mom-and-pop corner store. They are not special. It is nothing more than a chain of coffee stores.

Finally, the only legitimate ad that I have seen advertises their baristas’ willingness to fix your drink if it does not taste right. But is that even something special? If you screw up my overpriced coffee you’d better make it again. Hell, I would expect that from some place that charges a nickel for a drink. That is nothing to advertise– its just simple common courtesy.

This campaign, despite the company’s denial, was most likely spurred by the recent drop in sales. Many stores have reported losses of 5% or more over the last few months, and the “affordable breakfast” advertisements of Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds (McCafe) are starting to make Starbucks execs sweat. Good.

Realistically the money being shelled out on these ads (a figure that the company would not release) is by-in-large going down the drain. They should not expect new customers in this recession unless they begin to advertise price cuts. The $1 cup of coffee would go a long way. After all, this is the year of the $5 foot long, not the $4 latte.

To make things worse, Starbucks is also attempting to capitalize on the social networking boom and spamming Facebook and Twitter with this malarkey. Wonderful. They’ve also put their thought process on YouTube.


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