Starbucks Ad Succeeds After #RaceTogether Debacle


Starbucks and its Ceo, Howard Schultz, experienced a public debacle after launching the #RaceTogether campaign. By having baristas write the #RaceTogether hashtag on coffee cups, Schultz hoped to take on race relations and...

stimulate conversation, empathy and compassion toward one another, and then to broaden that dialogue beyond just our Starbucks family to the greater American public.

While I appreciate and agree with the progressive campaign's overarching purpose, the in-store execution was clunky. The last thing I want to do - and the last thing I want the guy in front of me to do - is have an extended conversation with the barista. Especially if I'm in a rush to get to work in the morning. 

According to Schultz, he proceeded with the in-store initiative despite internal opposition. Although the hashtag may be dead, the campaign will continue.  You can read more about it in a memo that Schultz wrote to his employees. 

While reading through Forbes, another Starbucks campaign caught my attention. Check it out:

The ad promotes the company's in-home coffee products by capturing an intimate moment between a young Black father and his son. The ad made me feel proud to know that a positive portrayal of Black men and families would be seen across the Forbes audience. Now, THIS is how I expect Starbucks to take on race relations! 

What do you think about the ad and #RaceTogether?