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.
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.”