Usually, the simple ideas are the cleverest

Posted by: David Kiley on January 25, 2005

Starbucks. Love em. Hate em. Love em for the easy availability of espresso and the ubiquity of the stores. Hate em for all that ubiquity. However we feel about the $3.00 cup of coffee, I love the company’s latest ad ploy. It’s a Starbucks cup fixed to the top of a cab roof, making it look like the cabbie or the passenger has left his cuppa Joe on top of the roof. People slowed down to point at the cup and tell the cabbie, etc. It was clever enough to get picked up in the media, which is a good sign for any idea.

This ranks up with some favorites of mine, like when Snapple had a fruit distributor fix Snapple stickers to all the Mangos it sent out to grocery stores to herald the launch of Mango flavored Snapple. Snapple, too, had convinced farm stands far and wide to add a Snapple to the typical sign at such places that listed “Fresh Corn, Peas, Watermelon.”

The Starbucks ploy, hatched by Clear Channel Taxi Media, is a far from cry from some advertisers’ annoying attempts to cut through the clutter. My least favorite gambit is around the corner—the car dealers who send out offers in brown envelopes in May that look a heckuva lot like Federal Income Tax returns. Man…I hate that one. And I idiotically get sucked in every year. I also disdain the fake money left on the street with the ad on the back of what we think is a $5 bill.

But I’ll lift a cup to the originality of the Starbucks on the cab roof idea. Good going.

 

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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