Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Free Coffee

If you need one extra motivator to go vote today, Starbucks is giving away a free cup of coffee to voters.

From Gillette mailing a free razor to men on their 18th Birthday to Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day, product giveaways strategically enhance a brand's value proposition to consumers. The key is to select a poignant date that resonates with your target audience.


Anonymous said...

Didn't Burger King get in trouble a few elections back for trying some sort of give-away tied to voting? Even though it was non-partisan, it ran afoul of some legislation that has to do with buying votes...

This was a while back, maybe the laws have been changed since then? I can't find any links to the BK thing -- it might have predated the internet explosion, maybe the '88 or '92 election?

Sean Tiner said...


Thanks for the comment. I don't know about the Burger King incident, but Starbucks had to quickly change its offer and free coffee for anyone who asks for it on election day.

According to David Ammons, spokesman for the Washington secretary of state, “federal law makes no distinction between cups of coffee or a raffle ticket versus a buy-the-vote kind of thing on the other end of the spectrum. We just told Starbucks, essentially, no good deed goes unpunished. We appreciate the gesture, but it’s forbidden.”

windo said...

Hello, just discovered your blog. nice to see fellow blogger/strategy type behind the orange curtain.

Nice gesture on behalf of starbucks. It definitely got me back into their store on tuesday. dunno if i'd go back though. love my nespresso too much. Taco Bell has been doing the "free taco" stunt w/the World Series for past couple years. And we've seen other brands hijack a specific day/occasion/event to generate trial and awareness for their brand. agree w/your observation. I wonder if this is a trend that'll get lost in the clutter or will we see more clever ways to hijack the occasion?

BTW, here's the inspiration of this particular creative execution.