The Starbucks Red Cup Controversy is the Greatest Marketing Stunt of 2015

By releasing these plain red cups for the holidays, Starbucks also released the greatest marketing ploy of the season.

Starbucks and their red cup controversy has been one of the trending topics on all of social media lately.



People are making accusations that Starbucks is trying to start a “War on Christmas”, and are going out of their way to explain why they are against the decision of the plain red cup, which are based primarily on religious views. Internet’s Josh Feuerstein found this to be such a problem, he decided to start a movement, #merrychristmasstarbucks.  You can see what he has to say in his video he posted online:

Basically, all he is asking out of his followers is to not boycott but to buy a Starbucks coffee, take a selfie, and post it online with the hashtag #merrychristmasstarbucks.

Among all of the “Anti-Starbucks” posts, and videos you can find online, there is an equal amount of supporters, and probably a larger group of people saying, “Who the hell even cares, Its just a cup”!


While I stood behind the “Who the hell cares, its just a cup” group for a while, I began to think about it. It really is just a cup. And deep behind whatever side you are on, you can’t disagree that in the end, it is just a cup. And I would almost be willing to bet that whoever is behind this at Starbucks came up with the idea to turn “just a cup” into something so much more.

In a news story that was published on Starbucks website, they explain how the old cups used to help tell the stories of the holidays, but this year’s design is intended to help welcome everyone’s stories.

Whether this is the true origin of the idea or not, Starbucks gained a hell of a lot of free publicity out of it. Just by simply producing a plain red cup in place of their old designs, they have millions of people all over the internet talking about them, posting pictures, videos, etc. and they aren’t even having to pay for that kind of publicity!

Up until this whole fiasco came about, I was never aware of Starbucks doing holiday cups, and I can’t imagine that I am the only one who can say that. Whoever Starbucks has as their marketing guy, I must applaud him, and they better keep him around, because if anybody can generate that much buzz over “just a cup”, then they are worth keeping.

Michael Daws
I love sports, current events, and anything outdoors. My days are filled with writing, hanging out with my daughter, and working on airplanes. I also enjoy eating. A lot.

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