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Ethiopian defense: Starbucks flops on YouTube


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December 21, 2006

Ethiopian defense: Starbucks flops on YouTube

Stephen Baker

In a two-minute YouTube clip, a Starbucks official, Dub Hay, defends the company in its trademark battle with Ethiopia. Idea Sandbox links to it. I couldn't find it by myself in YouTube, for some reason. Maybe it wasn't well tagged. But aside from that technical issue, the video flops because it's a boring, self-reverential news release. If we're going to see only one side of the story, the anti-Starbucks protesters on YouTube put on a far better show. If Starbucks wants to use video, it should be at least a wee bit compelling. And it would gain credibility by presenting the opposing side. How about letting Dub Hay debate some of the protesters?

09:12 AM

marketing, video blogging

Stephen ?? I appreciated the naked subtly of the Starbucks rebuttal video. If you remember, Starbucks took a lot of heat from bloggers and podcasters for their overly slick podcasts that came across as disingenuous and to jacked-up with platitudes and marketing rhetoric.

As I mentioned on my blog, I felt this was an impressive and intriguing marketing move from a $7B company. Now, I?? sure the Starbucks legal department strongly advised against posting the video rebuttal.

But I would hardly classify the less than two-minute video as boring. Had Starbucks simply issued a press release with finely-crafted quote from execs ?? then yeah ?? that?? boring.

Yeah know, I?? at a loss to name other companies the size of Starbucks that have been bold enough to release video statements telling their side of the story on YouTube. And, I?? not sure Starbucks would gain credibility by presenting the other side. The protestor video you liked better didn?? present the other side of the story. Hmm ?? maybe supporters of the Ethiopian Trademark issue should post a video response on YouTube.

Posted by: johnmoore (from Brand Autopsy) at December 22, 2006 12:11 AM

My bad Stephen ... I didn't actually watch the video you linked to in the post. Its a video from those who support the Ethiopian Trademark issue. And its a very engaging video. I still stand my by earlier comments that I enjhoy the naked subtly of the SBUX video response.

Posted by: johnmoore (from Brand Autopsy) at December 22, 2006 05:23 PM

John, It sounded like pure propaganda to me--even though it may be true.

Posted by: steve baker at December 23, 2006 08:51 PM

apart from starbucks appalling behaviour regards ethiopian coffee producers (who should boycott the company), what starbucks does with some of the worlds finest arabica is criminal. their coffee is gnat's piss. even my sister in seattle agrees. the company & their served coffee are a crock of shite.

Posted by: graystoke at March 4, 2007 12:19 PM


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