AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerThe Starbucks Red Cups Are Gone

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The Starbucks Red Cups Are Gone

The red cups are gone. And that means the holiday season is officially over. Today I got a regular white Starbucks cup. Then it hit me, there was no controversy over the Starbucks cups in 2016. What happened? In my opinion, it was because of a great strategy and public relations. 20161110_074016

Last year, there was some negative online buzz about the red and green cups, and one publicity-seeking evangelist publicly declared Starbucks part of the “war on Christmas.” But this year, there were the same red cups and no controversy.

The red cups did have a bit of twist in 2016. Starbucks released cups “Created by You.” They featured customers from around the world who “turned the cups into works of art.” And the artists’ names, from Russia to South Korea, decorated the red cups. It was a great way to stay true to the Starbucks brand, defuse histrionics and build on an idea.  See if you can argue with this copy line from the display of cups (really a display of their cups, wow), “Sharing what the season means to them, and reminding us of what we have in common—our collective holiday spirit.”

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.