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Ad of the Day: Starbucks Tells Your Story, Not Its Own, in First Global Brand Campaign


Need a place where you can audition someone for your band? Where you can haul your giant computer equipment for a geeky meeting? Where you can fuel up with your fellow bikers? Where you can celebrate a birthday, reconnect with a long-lost friend or just engage in a little PDA?

There's a Starbucks for that.

The coffee giant rolled out its first global brand campaign on Monday. And the focus is very much not on Starbucks (well, kind of not on Starbucks) but on the millions of people who get together at its stores every day—and the stories they have to tell.

The feel-good theme is "Meet me at Starbucks," and the centerpiece—a five-minute-plus mini documentary by 72andSunny—shows people doing just that. It was culled from 220 hours of footage filmed in a single 24-hour period in 59 Starbucks stores (including the one I visited this morning, on Astor Place in New York) in 28 countries by 39 local filmmakers and 10 local photographers.

We get to visit everywhere from Rio de Janeiro to Bogota, Singapore to Beijing, Mumbai to Toronto, Paris to Berlin to Istanbul. And the bonhomie—like your latte—appears to be much the same wherever you go.

Last week we posted some new Starbucks work by BBDO New York that was very minimalist—images of text-message conversations cleverly showed how meeting people face to face is better than communicating virtually. The new campaign has the same message, but the style is sprawling by comparison.

On YouTube, the five-minute film is interactive, giving you options to watch eight other films that tell the stories of different eclectic groups who regularly get together at Starbucks. We meet scrapbookers in Long Beach, N.Y.; postcard-sending fanatics in the Czech Republic; women practicing the art of knot tying in Japan; a hearing-impaired group meeting weekly in Honolulu; and more. (The film was cut into 30- and 60-second TV ads.)

If that's not enough, you can click on "Gallery Mode" and get a whole screen full of smaller screens—with little films and vignettes everywhere you look. If this smorgasbord of virtual content doesn't convince you to stop consuming virtual content and go meet someone face to face, nothing will. (Actually, it's not that easy to embed anything except the main film, and perhaps that's a way to prevent virtual sprawl.)

Rather than make any real argument for getting together at Starbucks specifically, the campaign assumes you probably already do. (It takes a brand of Starbucks' size to say things like, "It's never been just about the coffee.") And so the brand happily blends into the background. It's so ubiquitous, it's almost invisible. It's the happy host. And it lets the consumer be the hero.

What the campaign does suggest about Starbucks, though, is that it's not just the unthinking, inevitable choice. Indeed, everyone here is thinking, and feeling, very deeply indeed. It's not just what everyone does. It's what interesting, passionate people do—and it's what they choose to do.

"Good things happen when we get together. See you tomorrow," says the copy at the end. It's hard to argue with the first statement. The second, despite the phrasing, is actually up to you. And if the campaign does what it's supposed to, it will feel like a real choice—and one you'll gladly make.

Agency: 72andSunny
Glenn Cole, Chief Creative Officer
John Boiler, CEO
Grant Holland , Group Creative Director
Chiyong Jones, CD/CW
Gui Borchert, CD/Designer
Jc Abbruzzi , Lead Writer
Warren Frost, Lead Designer
Martin Schubert, Jr. Writer
Natalie Viklund, Jr. Designer
Aaron Tourtellot, Jr. Designer
Matt Swenson, Creative Technologist
Matt Jarvis, Chief Strategy Officer
Kelly Schoeffel, Co-Head of Strategy
Elisha Greenwell, Strategy Director
Chris Kay, Managing Director, LA
Josh Jefferis, Brand Director
Celeste Hubbard, Brand Manager
Alex Belliveau, Brand Coordinator
Tom Dunlap, Chief Production Officer
Sam Baerwald, Director of Film Production
Dominique Anzano, Calleen Colburn, Ellen Pot, Sr. Film Producers
Peter Williams, Film Producer
Heather Wischmann, Director of Interactive Production
Ruben Barton, Sr. Interactive Producer
Adrienne Alexander, Interactive Producer
Jason Heinz, Sr. Analyst
Melissa Bell, UX Design Director
Chip Davis, UX Designer
Michelle McKinney, Business Affairs Director
Christina Rust, Business Affairs Manager
Jesse Sinkiewicz, Business Affairs Coordinator

Production Company: m ss ng p eces, in collaboration with Co.MISSION Content
Josh Nussbaum, Director
Kate Oppenheim, Ari Kuschnir, Brian Latt, Executive Producers
Dave Saltzman, Head of Production
Mike Prall, Producer
Harrison Winter, Co.MISSION Content Group EP / CEO
Kris L. Young, Co.MISSION Content Group President

Ideas United
David Roemer, CEO
Tammi Montier, Business Development
Aaron Azpiazu, Partner Manager

Editorial: Cut & Run, Los Angeles
Michelle Eskin, Managing Director
Carr Schilling, Executive Producer
Remy Foxx, Post Producer
Lucas Eskin, Stephen Berger, Isaac Chen, Sean Stender, Kendra Juul, Editors
Brian Meagher, Christopher Malcolm Kasper, Assistant Editors

Editorial: 72andSunny Studio
John Keaney, Director of Operations
Nick Gartner, Editor
Becca Purice, Producer

VFX: Jogger
David Parker, Creative Director
Matthew Lydecker, Artist
Megan Kennedy, Producer
Liz Lydecker, Sr. Producer

Telecine: CO3
Sean Coleman, Colorist

Mix: Play Studios
John Bolen, Ryan Sturup, Mixers
Lauren Cascio, Executive Producer

Keith Kenniff, Unseen Music
Jóhann Jóhannsson
Youth Faire
Andrew Simple

Interactive: Stopp/Family
CEO/Executive Producer: Fredrik Frizell
Executive Producer: Eric Shamlin
Producer: Callan Koenig
Creative Director: Zachary Richter
Associate Creative Director: Abe Cortes
Junior Designer: April DiMartile
UX: Wai Shun Yeong
Junior UX: I.K Olumu
Technical Director: Ola Björling
Backend Developer: Mattias Hedman
Frontend Developer: Jin Kim
Subtitle Developer: Brian Hodge

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