If I could sum up this entire ad in a phrase: fdsjignfudjvbRAGE.
First, let’s pick apart exactly what it is we’re seeing here in this “#nostarbucks” advertisement. Phase one: startle viewers with (unnecessary) profanity spoken in what I imagine to be the snarling voice of an American Vernon Dursley. Phase two: display a 32 ounce glass of coffee (EW). Phase three: throw in some charts and maps. Phase four: flash some photos of Starbucks protesters and other related obnoxiousness. Phase five: bring back American Dursley not so nicely telling us not to shut him up. OK. NO NEED TO YELL, THANKS. Turned off yet?
It’s direct. It’s in-your-face. But is it effective?
We live in an age where coffee fuels America like gas fuels cars, so the ad is relevant to our time. Ever counted the number of people holding coffee cups as you walk the streets? Exactly.
The ad itself seems to be taking a stab at obesity and unhealthiness in America. We are shown a “trenta” jug of coffee that looks physically impossible to stomach. That alone was enough to turn me off. Then, we see a map of states where this trenta can be found. Interestingly enough, they’re all southern states — I’m sure that has its own implications. But up comes a map of “The United States of Obesity” and brings along with it a big question: What exactly are we looking at? Each state has a number in the middle of it, but no description of what the numbers represent. Are we suppose to deduce from this information that Mississippi is fat?
But scroll down to the description under the video, and you’ll be left with even more mixed signals. The text advices us to seek out the mom-and-pop coffee houses and cafes in order to shift the power away from “megacorporations.” This is no longer a discussion of obesity/unhealthiness. So what are they really trying to say?
If turning attention away from corporations like Starbucks is the goal, then I don’t think the ad is up to snuff. We can’t quite trust an ad whose creators aren’t entirely clear in their aims. On the other hand, if this is a stop-drinking-coffee-to-stop-being-fat campaign, the text at the bottom distracts from the main point.
Either way, there’s a bit too much going on a bit too forcefully. In my opinion, the ad’s creators could have simply shown a picture of that 32 ounce coffee and compared it to the average stomach capacity. For a person who drinks lattes on occasion, that’s nearly enough to steer me away from the tall size cup.
Maybe the greatest irony is that their #nostarbucks twitter campaign brings up a lot of tweets about folks who really want their Starbucks… #awk