Starbucks goes after Big Gulp crowd with new “trenta”

Quoth the Washington Post:

The new, nearly quart-size cups — meant only for iced coffee and tea — are available in 14 states starting today, and everyone, everywhere, should be able to indulge by early May. As the National Journal has pointed out with a handy chart, you will be indulging in a drink larger than most stomachs.

Trenta is Italian for 30 so it only makes sense that *$ new supersized drink contains … 31 ounces. (What’s wrong with Trentuno?)  Is anyone going to say, “Trenta-size me.”

Trenta joins other words repurposed by *$ like

  • Venti – “fan” (French),  “wait” (Danish & Norwegian), 20 (Italian)
  • Grande – “seniors" (French) or large (Spanish, Catalan, Italian)
  • Tall – “I’m broke but want to hang out here anyway.”

Don’t know what they’ll charge for this beast but it shouldn’t be much more than a re-negotiated mortgage payment.

Krispy Kreme finds “depression era” price for coffee doesn’t pay

Last fall Krispy Kreme tried to grab some market share in the Northwest by rolling back coffee prices to “Depression era” levels. The “New Deal” marketing effort cut prices from for a small from $1.45 to a nickel, mediums went from $1.65 to a dime and larges from $1.75 to 15 cents. It was A) a nice thing to do in this economy and B) KK figured that it made fiscal sense for them because they make most of their money from donuts not java.

11515Drink-Coffee-Poster At first things went well, very well. In March sales of Lutheran gasoline (mocha) were up 229 percent over pre-price cut. Melissa Allison, who covers coffee for the Seattle Times (that’s gotta be like having the philosophy beat in ancient Athens), says cheap joe may not be enough. Turns out people weren’t buying the baked goods needed.

Today Gerard Centioli, CEO of Icon LLC in Seattle, which co-owns (with Krispy Kreme) 12 stores in the Northwest and Hawaii, tells Allison (does she ever get confused about which of her names goes first?) that two of the stores now require you buy something baked in order to get the coffee deal.

"They were experiencing a level of coffee-only purchases which will cause us to either require a purchase or discontinue the program. If the test becomes permanent, we will develop marketing materials to communicate the change to our guests.”

Still a heck of a deal. Now all we need is a good five cent cigar to go with it.

Marketers rush to rip-off Obama brand

How should  BlackBerry to thank the President for the amazing product endorsement without just mailing him a large check. How about endowing a scholarship (or 10) in his name? That’s a start. Whatever they do the following companies should really do the same.

1) Beanie Babies that lie: Doll-maker Ty must think they are a bank. They have decided to lie about the fact that they’re new dolls — named Sweet Sasha and Marvelous Malia — are actually ripping off the Obama kids.

Obama Daughters Dolls“[We] chose the dolls’ names because “they are beautiful names,” not because of any resemblance to President Obama’s daughters, said spokeswoman Tania Lundeen. “There’s nothing on the dolls that refers to the Obama girls,” Lundeen said. “It would not be fair to say they are exact replications of these girls. They are not.”

A moment of sympathy for Ms. Lundeen, who had to deliver that line with a straight face. Some PR folks do not get paid enough.

Ty is offering up this bizarre claim because public figures have legal rights to controlling the use of their images. The company’s only hope to get away with this is that the President is too busy saving our asses to notice. I’m not an attorney (to put it mildly) and I could win this one. Guys make it easier on yourself and just start donating all income (not profits) from these to a non-profit.

2) I’ll (Soft) drink to that: Thankfully neither Jones Soda nor Avery Soda are pretending their two flavors are anything but an attempt to get the President’s name on to their product.

oberry barack-soda

For harder stuff you’ll have to go to Kenya where the President lager has replaced the Senator brew previously available. Oddly, considering this is our first president to admit inhaling pot no rolling papers yet. Obama Bombers, anyone?

barack_obama_beer

Continuing down the beverage aisle there are also a number of Obama coffees. This is my favorite because of the box.

coffee

3) Oooooh that smell: There is now a “fragrance you can believe in.” Best part of the product is the ad copy

a clean, refreshing blend of citrus, green leaves & marine notes/in Honor of Barack Obama/ a limited edition/historically commemorative fragrance that insights Hope for Women and Men

Is it better to insight or incite? I dunno? (BTW, POTUS is short for “President of the …”)

potus1600bottleIf you would rather have some Eau Bama in the car you can replace that paper pine tree with …

airfreshenerforce1(And I have to say I am disappointed to be the first person to use Eau Bama. C’mon people!)

4) In the running: All basketball stars love to have their own sneaker, and sneaker companies love when a basketball star sells their sneakers. So what is more approporiate for our Power-Forward-In-Chief than …

sneaker

Worth noting that this sneaker would be considered a deadly insult to the President in many cultures. But can we get a pair to our favorite shoe-thrower?

If you would rather not have him on the sole of your shoe, try these:

barack-obama-custom-sneakers-2

5) The President helps out around the house: This is my favorite combination of slogan and product — even though I cannot think of the last time I actually used a can opener.

yes-we-can-opener

There’s a lot of opportunities still untapped here. How about Obama baby wipes — “when you need change and got stuck cleaning up a big mess.”

Brand violation: Dunkin’ Donuts tries to go healthy

Dunkin’ Donuts will begin offering a new slate of better-for-you offerings in August. The menu, which will debut in stores Aug. 6, will feature two new flatbread sandwiches made with egg whites. Customers will be able to choose either a turkey sausage egg-white sandwich or a vegetable one. Both will be under 300 calories with 9 grams of fat or less, the company said. … The new menu will be called DDSmart and will include all current and new items that either have 25 percent few calories, sugar, fat or sodium than comparable products or contain ingredients that are “nutritionally beneficial,” the company said.

A)Health is not why anyone goes to DD — which was founded in Waltham and is by far the most ubiquitous franchise in Boston. DD is all about reliably bland and (compared to *$) inexpensive coffee and treats. Just the idea that they’ll be bringing vegetables into this temple of cream and sugar makes me unhappy.

B) In tough economic times people want comfort not health. I don’t give this thing a sugar cube’s chance in coffee of surviving.

You read it here first: Starbucks gets bad press for denying Romenesko a custom card

As loyal readers recall, last month Starbucks turned down a customized card for Jim Romenesko. Romenesko runs two blogs: StarbucksGossip and MediaNewsthe online water cooler for journalists. At the time I wrote:

It’s not like Romenesko is Someone Not To Be Messed With. He’s just someone who gets a lot of influential readers. He’s more like Someone I Hope I Didn’t Inadvertently Do Something Stupid To. No doubt some of those MediaNews readers wander over to the Starbucks site. No doubt some of them will love a story about big company being dumb.

The fish. The gun. The smoking barrel, courtesy of the Seattle Times:

Starbucks does not welcome all forms of personalization. The webmaster of StarbucksGossip.com was stopped by company censors when he tried to order a card with his Web site’s name.

“Something like ‘Fluffy is my favorite cat’ might get approved,” Jim Romenesko wrote on his site.

A Starbucks spokeswoman said the company’s policy is to avoid anything that would offend baristas or harm the brand.

“The term ‘gossip’ could be deemed offensive or harmful to our brand,” Lisa Passé explained.

That might explain why CelebrityStarbucks.com got its name on a Starbucks card when StarbucksGossip.com did not.

A correct prediction AND we have a new entrant into the Great Names in Marketing Hall of Fame: Lisa Passé! I LOVE 2008!

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Starbucks figures out how to get the most bad publicity for the buck

starbuckYesterday Jim Romenesko was rejected by America’s favorite drug dealer in his attempt to get a Customized Starbucks Card plugging one of his blogs. The card would have said: Check out StarbucksGossip.com. It was nixed because it didn’t conform to the company’s personalization policy, doubtless enforced by a computer program or someone at the bottom of the corporate ladder.

Two things you need to know about the site and Romenesko:

  1. The site is pretty damn neutral. StarbucksNews would be a better description. It reports on the latest food items and the latest attitudes from the coffee servers. Romenesko, by all appearances, likes Starbucks. He seems to be at one nearly everyday. (This is what happens when you work by yourself. My local dealer is CafeNation.)
  2. He is also proprietor of the MediaNews site at Poynter.org. This site, devoted to news about journalism, is the media’s online watering hole. Everyone reads it. As with any industry-specific news site, it is probably incredibly dull if you aren’t in said industry. (Romenesko’s pay for this site is said to be in the six-figures. It is money well spent.)

It’s not like Romenesko is Someone Not To Be Messed With. He’s just someone who gets a lot of influential readers. He’s more like Someone I Hope I Didn’t Inadvertently Do Something Stupid To. No doubt some of those MediaNews readers wander over to the Starbucks site. No doubt some of them will love a story about big company being dumb.

In case they didn’t think this was a story, the MediaNews types can also read responses from people defending the company’s action.

The policy is reasonable. Don’t take it so personally. Starbucks is trying to protect their brand and that means not allowing any website (whether it’s starbucksgossip.com, poniesandrainbows.com or livehotgirlsxxxxxxxx.com) to use this service to create advertising materials that look as if they were sanctioned and endorsed by Starbucks.

Which would be a feasible defense if a site called CelebrityStarbucks hadn’t got one of the damn cards with its name on it. Personalization, it’s not for the faint-hearted.

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