But really, has Starbucks ever actually gotten it wrong?
Remember Starbucks’ red holiday cup controversy last year? Remember Starbucks’ green “unity” cup controversy a few weeks ago? This week, Starbucks is finally getting the praise it has long yearned for, debuting 13 winter and holiday-themed red cups Thursday.
The Starbucks cup drama all started last year when the company released a plain winter/holiday red cup. Any normal person would have admired the cup for its simple yet bold design, but of course, the Internet did what it tends to do and eagerly boarded the Starbucks-hates-Christmas-train.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago in late October when a Reddit user leaked the supposed 2016 holiday cup design. The very next day, following the leak, Starbucks released its green “unity” cup which was totally different from the leaked one. While the green cup was meant to do exactly what you’d expect a “unity” cup to do – unify the masses – the Internet went to town once again. Does the hate-train ever stop?
Right when everyone thought green was the new red and Starbucks had completely dropped the red cup tradition, Starbucks said, “Can the real holiday cup please stand up?” and shocked the coffee-loving masses with its actual holiday red cup.
In case you weren’t paying attention, that’s a total of three possible 2016 holiday cups from Starbucks. Who said surprises weren’t fun?
But, as I said before, Starbucks didn’t just release one holiday cup (the actual, real holiday one this time) -- the company released 13! THIRTEEN.
These 13 cups are way cooler than the usual Starbucks cup, though. Last December during the original holiday cup controversy (#NeverForget), Starbucks created a contest for customers to submit their designs using the much-hated plain red cups as their canvas. Within eight days, the company received more than 1,200 individual submissions from 13 countries, ranging from Pennsylvania to Dubai.
Of the thousands of submissions, Starbucks selected 13 cups from six countries. Now, those cups are in more than 25,000 Starbucks stores in 75 countries.
“People will be walking around the street in Shanghai, New York and London carrying these cups,” said Dena Blevins, creative director, Starbucks Global Creative Studio. “We love that this year our customers’ artistry can play a part in brightening someone’s day.”
And “customers’ artistry” it is. Starbucks made a genius public relations move and had its customers design the cups this year to ensure that if anyone were to get upset about the company’s 2016 cups, Starbucks could turn it around and say, “but you, the customer, designed it.”
Luckily, all that Starbucks has received is praise, so now Starbucks addicts (me) can rejoice! Everyone is in the Starbucks-loving spirit this holiday season (well, at least after the green cups left the stores).