“If you care enough to vote, we care enough to give you a free cup of coffee.” So goes Starbucks’ (NASDAQ: SBUX) advertisement depicting the coffee chain’s contribution to the presidential election.
“Simply vote, and ask your barista for a tall cup of brewed coffee at no charge (limit one per customer). In the best tradition of democracy, we’re using the honor system so absentee voters shouldn’t have a problem,” said a spokesperson for the Seattle coffee giant. The ad campaign kicked off during the final pre-election edition of Saturday Night Live on NBC this past Saturday.
Free coffee is a good branding move on Starbucks’ part: the chain is making sure it is noticed as taking an active part in the nation’s most significant event in four years. The ad is well done. It comes across as socially responsible and concerned about what is best for the nation. It also makes Starbucks seem responsive to customer suggestions and concerns: the idea was reportedly suggested numerous times on MyStarbucksIdea.com, the chain’s online forum for sharing customer and employee ideas.