Sunday, July 27, 2008


Starbucks is really getting behind the Vivanno drink. In full disclosure, I'm not sure what the Vivanno is. I've asked partners: something to do with great and protein and healthy but good tasting too. It's a frappe, I believe. A 'shakey' type of drink. A smoothie. 16g of protein - whey protein. "A nourishing smoothie". I tried a was good enough - absolutely nothing wrongwith it. I didn't buy one and I'm not inclined to. I don't know why. Another smoothie frappe' thing at Starbucks. Hmm. Just not that exciting. I'm sure they are great. I'm also inclined to think they probably cost in the $4 dollar-ish range.

What caught me was the below ad in the Sunday New York Times online edition this morning.

"How great days are made"

Really? "Today is a new smoothie" Better, but still...

I wish they would quit bs'ing us. How great days are made? Come on Howard. Really? I get it - it's healthy/ier and...I get it. But really? Is it really how great days are made? "No - it's a figure of speech...we're trying to communicate that it's healthier and that it will make you feel better - without coming out and saying it like that, because of course we couldn't say that"

It's just bs.

This ironically was juxtaposed against the following ad by Chevy in the same New York Times edition - a juxtaposition which sheds light on the obviously growing nature of online advertising, communication and expression for big, small and medium companies: AUTHENTICITY! Connection. Being real.

"We share a planet - why not share a dialogue"

Ok. You click and arrive at the following statement:

"At General Motors we take our responsibility for the environment seriously. If that sounds disingenous coming from the world's largest producer of cars and trucks, well, maybe it's time to talk - in depth and frankly. That's what this is: the beginning of a dialogue between people who share a planet. Fact is, we need to talk. We want to talk."

"That's what this is - the beginning of a dialogue"

Obviousy the part I highlighted above is what strikes me as the most impactful statement of all. "Time to talk - in depth and frankly"

Now granted, a frappe' drink / smoothie and saving the planet via frank conversation - as frank as one can have over an internet connection - with the world's largest producer of cars are two different concepts all together, but the point is still the same: one company is still selling you - and at that, a pretty bs-ee type of claim "What great days are made of" - come on. "Great days" is a factor of fate, hard work, love, luck, diligence, honesty, timing, etc. Whatever happened to integrity in Starbuck's Mission Statement. Nothing against this drink - I just wish the company as a whole would be a bit more open and genuine with what they are saying, which is exemplified and alluded to in the Chevy ad. Chevy addresses the fact that yes - it may seem disingenous to come off as "caring" about the environment when we are the largest producer of cars and trucks on the planet, but they beat you to the punch. They own that. And they go on to say it's time we talk about that! Amazing. Very impressive.

And as if the readers of the New York Times online edition aren't both savvy enough and cynical to claims across the screen: What great days are made of! better click...a smoothie from Starbucks - great. This is what I've been looking for. An ingredient to make my days great.

Life's answer solved in a Starbucks frappe'

Authenticity. Branding. Integrity.

Especially today it's just too important to be open, real and authentic with people - espcially online. The BS meters are high, refined and preciscion sharp and those companies that don't take heed are not - in my opinion - doing their best to be great!

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