Last Updated on 1 May 2015

A sponsored link from Starbucks Frappuccino appeared in my Facebook feed this morning. It announces a new Frappuccino flavor, S’mores.

Bigfoot Frappuccino

I won’t debate the choice of flavor. I understand the challenge the Starbucks beverage team has, trying to comp their numbers year over year with different flavors.

I will challenge the thinking and implementation of the marketing and creative team.

This used to be my job. Specifically my job. I used to think up marketing ideas to promote products for Starbucks. I’m highly qualified to comment.

This ad screams “too many chiefs” and “not enough creativity.”

Someone came up with the idea.

S’mores = camping.

Campfire = the taste of camping.

Eating S’mores  = tasting the campfire.

Drinking S’mores Frappuccino = sipping campfire!

But we can’t say that… Let’s be cheeky and say…

“Of course you shouldn’t sip campfire!”

(someone chuckles)

Someone else at the same time was thinking…

S’mores = camping = woods.

Woods… Woods… Woods…

“Oh, wait!”

“Bigfoot… Sasquatch… lives in the woods!”

“OMG! Would’t it be funny to see Bigfoot drinking a Frappuccino?! That will go viral! I’d repost that!”

(someone nods)

Okay. But, these are two different executions.

“Hey… how do you show someone sipping fire?”

“I dunno.”

“Okay… let’s go with the drinking campfire funny, and show Bigfoot!”

“Everyone happy?”


The “don’t sip campfire” line is meh. Mildly clever. Even if came off brilliant, that’s not “Starbucks” humor. That’s not their voice. Trying too hard.

Bigfoot drinking a Frappuccino is an okay idea too. But, deliver on it!

What about…

S’mores Frappuccino
Tastes so much like camping,
you’ll have to fight-off Bigfoot!

Not great. But at least it ties it all together.

Feels like the team tried to do “everything” so “nothing” really came out.

It is a lot of work to be clever. And, you can’t make something go viral. You can only make something really great and hope your audience makes it go viral.

Someone should have pushed the team – and this is the lesson to be learned –  to (a) pick one idea, and (b) push that idea harder.