Starbucks Promo, Case study THERE'S NO TIME LIKE THE FIRST TIME! by The Practice

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Industry Coffee, Tea, Breakfast Drinks, Cafe
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Romania
Agency The Practice
Client Service Director Oana Bulexa
Released October 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Social Media
Advertiser: STARBUCKS
Product/Service: COFFEE
Retail Promotions Manager Greece/Cyprus/Romania/Bulgaria: Eleftheria Kallitsa (Starbucks)
Managing Partner: Gabriela Lungu (The Practice)
Client Service Director: Oana Bulexa (The Practice)
PR Manager: Floriana Cristea (The Practice)
Online PR Director: Monica Jitariuc Soare (The Practice)
Online PR Executive: Magda Halus (The Practice)
Event & Production Specialist: Ruxandra Avram (The Practice)
Media placement: Blogs campaign -, - 4 October 2010
Media placement: Social media announcement of the 1st campaign wave - 1 week @Starbucks - Facebook, Twitter - 4 October 2010
Media placement: Bloggers meeting with their readers @Starbucks #1 - BTL in Starbucks coffee shop in Bucharest - 20 October 2010
Media placement: Press and bloggers visibility as following the bloggers meeting -,, Tabu, and many more - 21 October 2010
Media placement: Blogs campaign -,,,,,, - 6 December 2010
Media placement: Social media announcement of the 2nd campaign wave - Facebook, Twitter - 6 December 2010
Media placement: Bloggers meeting with their readers @Starbucks #2 - BTL in Starbucks coffee shop in Bucharest - 14 December 2010
Media placement: Press and bloggers visibility as following the bloggers meeting -,,,,,, - 15 December 2010

Summary of the Campaign
Starbucks is a love brand and has millions of fans around the world. So designing a Starbucks campaign in Social Media shouldn’t be much of a challenge. Still, try to do this in Romania. This is the story of the first Social Media campaign ever done by Starbucks in Romania. To make things more difficult, Starbucks didn’t even have a Romanian Facebook account, nor a constant interaction with consumers. So, creating a buzz in social media for Starbucks was seen as a real challenge. The elements of our social media communication solution were: a smart, simple, relevant creative idea, 10 successful bloggers, 4 real life events. Moreover, a lot of PR tools put to work. We succeeded to get hundreds of comments, status updates, pictures about/on the campaign on Facebook and get 10 bloggers that never interacted with Starbucks to be our voices in Social Media, true “Starbucks allies”. We used large scale social media & PR tools and succeeded to put Starbucks in the Social Media spotlight and generate relevant and beautiful consumer interaction and engagement with a ridiculously small cost per reached contact.

The Situation
With NO local social media accounts and being cautious to work with bloggers, Starbucks wanted online visibility. Plus, we had limited budget. Still, wanting impressive word-of-mouth.
Opportunity? In Romania bloggers are perceived as “small VIPs” (having weekly TV shows or being permanent guests, writing for famous magazines). Anyone would love to share a cup of coffee and a story with. We chose 10 “most wanted for a coffee”, the most known and appreciated (by influence rankings) to be part of the campaign. Then, we transformed them into real “allies” for reaching more consumers, and therefore relevancy for Starbucks.

The Goal

Our communication objectives were to: create awareness around Starbucks in social media, position Starbucks as leader of a coffee experience and create a strong connection between the brand and its consumers.
Our evaluation criteria: expose at least 150,000 Romanians to the Starbucks campaign brand messages just by using social media and afterwards to really make this people be part of our campaign, interact with the brand – with a measurable objective of 150 real consumer interactions in social media!

The Strategy
We opened up the brand turning it into a courageous one and made consumers send lots of love letters to Starbucks through social media.
1st wave: 2 bloggers spent one week at Starbucks turning into real baristas. Opening up your kitchen to bloggers (very inquisitive persons)...that’s courage! They shared their experience on blogs and challenged readers to send Starbucks love letters to win coffee prepared by the bloggers themselves. And there’s more...a big party was thrown at Starbucks.
2nd wave: We creatively implemented the international Christmas platform “Share a cup, share a story” locally. 8 “most wanted for a coffee” bloggers organized national storytelling contests. The best stories were shared for real face-to-face meetings with bloggers in Starbucks all around the country. So, we got more than consumer interaction: we got consumer engagement and, in the end...consumer generated stories.

1st wave: We chose 2 bloggers to implement our creative idea: the most credible women bloggers and a man, the most beautiful blogger as all the girls say. They were treated as journalists and given the unique opportunity (NO Romanian brand had EVER done that) to spend one week at Starbucks.
After generating dozens of articles, the bloggers launched a challenge to their readers: “Why do you love Starbucks?”. The winners received a day with the blogger, enjoying the Starbucks experience. And the consumer engagement was at its best.

2nd wave: 3 events were organized in 3 cities, at Starbucks coffee shops. Bloggers and their readers met to share a cup, share a story. The events took a long time as long stories had to be shared. Then, it went further, on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, people posting pictures and stories from the events.

Documented Results
With a creative idea, courage to open up to bloggers and consumers, our social media campaign got great results.
We reached our objectives by creating that special emotional bond between customers and the brand, real conversations with real people. Moreover, Starbucks received hundreds of love letters! For the first social media campaign for Starbucks in Romania it was a big thing to make fans speak!
In social media, the results proved that we generated real buzz. More than 300,000 people were directly exposed (double the most optimistic estimation), 50 substantial blog posts, 250 status updates on Facebook sustaining the campaign, 500 comments = love letters for Starbucks, 600 photos from the event uploaded, 800 status updates on Twitter containing the hashtags #starbucksromania and #tellastory, 10:1 Return on Investment. Learning? Never underestimate the power of a good story and the importance of great allies!