- Starbucks rolled out its annual holiday cup on Nov. 1 with a design that encourages people to tap into their artistic side, according to a post by the company. The white cup features black outlines of presents, trees, mittens and other seasonal items, marking the first time the brand has asked customers to color in the design.
- The rollout is part of the coffee chain's "Give Good" holiday campaign, which also includes seasonal drinks and a social media element where customers can share a photo of their decorated cup online through the hashtag #GiveGood.
- "Giving good can be as small as someone opening the door for you, or recognizing the people that enrich your life — your child's teacher, a caregiver, a family friend," Leanne Fremar, executive creative director for Starbucks, wrote in the post. "The holidays are a time to celebrate all the good we give to each other and our community."
Starbucks's latest cup comes 20 years after it first unveiled seasonal designs for its packaging. Since then, customers have spread the word about the company by sporting a slew of holiday cups that have featured snowmen, tree ornaments and more. The Starbucks holiday cup — in even being called a 'holiday' cup as opposed to a Christmas cup — has also become a surprising political battleground, with 2015's minimalist ombre design, which lacked any specific Christmas imagery, spurring a lot of ire online.
This year, the company is taking a cue from customers and baristas who enjoy adding a splash of creativity to their coffee by curating the packaging for people to add their own artistic flair. The hope here is that people will share their creations on social media, spreading awareness about Starbucks and providing a well of user-generated content to draw from for the holidays — a huge sales period for the company, with revenue rising up to 12% in previous years.
Starbucks is becoming well-known for converting its beverages into canvases for creative marketing campaigns. In April, it unveiled a limited-run, neon-colored Unicorn Frappuccino novelty drink that quickly went viral on platforms like Instagram and sold out in stores. It attempted to replicate that hit just a month later with a Midnight Mocha offering that was less successful but still underscored the brand's growing focus on social media sharing as mobile becomes a bigger driver of its business.