Oh Starbucks and their team of clever and creative marketers…they’ve done it again and I’ve knowingly fallen victim to another one of their consumer ploys. Christmas at Starbucks has arrived. And even though I don’t entirely get their whole, “Let’s Merry” theme (every time I hear someone say it, I think they are casually proposing to anyone who’s interested), I can’t resist the cheery red cups and warm seasonal beverages. My beverage of choice this Christmas season – a grande, extra hot, half sweet, skinny peppermint mocha. The amount of time it takes the say the order and subsequent embarrassment for what some may perceive as high maintenance, is totally worth the enjoyment that this tasty bevy brings me. I do realize that Starbucks offers peppermint year-round, however, I choose to ignore its presence for the prior 10 months of the year, reserving it especially for the Christmas season. Something about peppermint is Christmas-y to me.
And just when you thought Starbucks’ fountain of creativity couldn’t possibly spring up another new idea, they release their very own seasonal app to amplify the Christmas at Starbucks experience. An augmented reality app to be specific – which basically means taking a real life object and making it ‘come to life’ with computer generated graphics (I had to look this up). While I did just download the app on my phone, I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet because you need a red Starbucks cup to get the full experience. But the concept of the app is that you point your phone at the characters – an ice skater, a squirrel, a dog, a boy and a sledding fox – on the trademark red cups and other packaging and they come to life in the palm of your hand. The app also lets you take photos of the characters and share them through social media or send as an e-card to friends and family. And if that doesn’t “surprise and delight” you enough (which according to Starbucks is the goal of the app), you can sign up via text message for special Christmas offers. Sounds intriguing, no? There’s a good chance I’ll be trying this tomorrow.
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