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Concocting #merrysips for Starbucks

You know Christmas has arrived when Starbucks’s red cups hit the streets. It’s a modern tradition that has become synonymous with the magic of the season. For one merry Christmas, we reimagined and made the festivities a venti to engage consumers online and drive footfall into stores. A seemingly Santa-level task when the brief first dropped.


As the blizzard of Christmas-themed products and messages increases in intensity and volume each year, and with customers preferring unique and differentiated messages, Starbucks’ ownership of the holiday experience amongst coffeehouses had been ground down. The brief was to perk things up, with a dollop of increased sales and a sprinkle of engagement.


A Christmas experience both in-store and digital was needed to help Starbucks reclaim the Christmas narrative. Our task was to get Starbucks’ fans and even rejecters to get their holidays on with an extra shot or 2. It was time to get Christmassier.

We did so through rich media banners that invited customers to play-to-win. From random clicks that changed their Christmas narrative from blah to bazinga, to a Christmas jackpot game, users got into the festive mood while unlocking rewards that went straight into their membership account. Coupled with geo-location ads that pinged coffee fans within radial distance from coffeehouses, store traffic was given a significant boost, while new member signups were a delightful bonus.

The 2-month-long campaign garnered over 1.4 million in reach and 12.9 million impressions. It scored a creative relevance score between 8–10, above the average market score of 7. We helped Santa deliver Christmas cheer in heaps and scoops.