Starbucks’ advertisements in movies

By  Ya LIN

There are many movies who have coffee shops as a background scene. The coffee shop is like a microcosm of society. We can meet a wide variety of people in a coffee shop, students, white-collar, housewife…

In a movie, a coffee shop can be a place for a first date or a place for breaking up. A coffee shop can be a workplace for colleagues to discuss their business ideas. A coffee shop can also be a place for friends to have a lovely chinwag.

We often see Starbucks in movies, some are “embedded ad”, some are not. For sure, Starbucks is good at content marketing, especially does the excellent product placements in movies.

 In this movie, Miranda is a workaholic who drinks four cups of coffee every day, she is as efficient as a high-speed machine, she has a stressful, unbalanced life, she doesn’t even have the time to take a break. It is similar to Starbucks, Starbucks is not a coffee shop that can make you feel relaxed, it is not a slow-paced coffee shop. It is a plot that the scriptwriter designed especially for Starbucks. Miranda and Starbucks have the same traits, professional, efficient, high quality. It seems that Starbucks wants to tell us if you are busy and want a cup of high-quality coffee, Starbucks is your choice.

In the movie “I am Sam”, although it is a tearjerker, it still has a large commercial value for Starbucks. Sam is an adult who has the intelligence of a seven-year-old child. Starbucks shows its humanism in the movie, Starbucks offered work opportunities for disabilities, related to their corporate social responsibility, which is one of the most important brand strategies of Starbucks at the moment.

Besides these two movies, Starbucks has lots of successful “embedded ad” in the other movies, like “You’ve Got Mail”, “The World’s End”, “The Starving Games“…1

Compare with the traditional hard advertisements, “embedded ad” is easier to be accepted. When audiences watch a movie, they will choose their favourite subject, and most of them will concentrate on the details of the movie so the advertisements can increase the accuracy of diffusion and the quality of impression.

Although there are more and more product placements in movies, Starbucks is still doing well in this kind of content marketing.




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