The Holiday Cup Campaign: A Starbucks Surprise

Starbucks’ new holiday menu and cups. Credit: Starbucks

We know the holidays are right around the corner when Starbucks releases its new holiday cup collection. This holiday season, we are once again treated to the creativity that makes the holiday season so special.  

Suzie Reecer, Starbucks associate creative director, describes the holiday cup campaign as a way to spread holiday cheer, as well as defining the campaign as a way to “really bring joy to every customer and every partner” and describes the Starbucks holiday cups as a “portal to holiday joy”. The holiday cup campaign has been a yearly tradition since it started in 1977 and has become something Starbucks drinkers look forward to every year. Between the warm welcome back to so many delicious seasonal drinks as well as the introduction to new seasonal drinks, the holiday cups are a symbol of new beginnings and holiday cheer.   

This year, the Starbucks holiday cups are based on a gift wrapping theme. There are 4 cups, each of which emulates either wrapping paper, lights, candy canes, or ribbons. They are primarily red, rather than the typical white cups, with green and white designs and lilac details.  

The Starbucks creative team focused on putting an emphasis on inclusivity, with hopes for everyone to “feel magical, we wanted it to be warm, and we wanted it to be inclusive.” The holiday campaign is meant to spread excitement for the season and spending time with family and friends, all while drinking your favorite Starbucks drink. Changing the cups every year to something different and exciting allows for Starbucks drinkers to have an extra something to look forward to. 

In the PR world, this holiday campaign is a great way to promote new holiday drinks with fun cups, because it’s something that only happens once a year. The campaign brings in more people who may prefer the holiday drinks to the traditional drinks, as well as people who love the holidays and look for any excuse to celebrate them. Furthermore, the anticipation of the new cup design is something that gets discussed heavily on social media and allows for a lot of free coverage on the campaign. It is always something new and exciting that so many people enjoy talking about.  

Sarah Horton, Account Associate

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