INFER(RED) Cup (aka #45 Ante Up)

When Gerry saw Starbucks’ Red Cup promotion this year and he turned to me and asked if Starbucks had jumped on board with Bono‘s (PRODUCT)RED**

Now wouldn’t that be great!  Starbucks donating 10% of every Eggnog Latte, Peppermint Mocha and Gingerbread Latte.  What the heck 10% of every Venti Soy Mocha Half Sweet No Foam w/ toffee sprinkles.

But sadly, no. Starbucks has been using the red cup for years to herald in the holiday season.  Quoting Paul Williams on IdeaSandbox “The red cup is a Starbucks tradition… In fact, each time Starbucks strayed from using the red cup customers have complained… So it’s been long established that the RED CUP be a non-negotiable holiday item.”

As an aside I find it interesting that Starbucks abandoned their old red cup website,, which had developed a following for its quirky holiday content and switched over to  New quirky holiday content… why the new site?

In their defence, Starbucks Canada has partnered with ABC Canada on the Gift of Words™ – a national funding initiative that provides resources for libraries and literacy organizations.  They have also invited customers to participate in their holiday book drive by dropping by with a new, unwrapped children’s books. Purchase your donated book online through their Rebate a Cause page and a percentage of your purchase will be donated to ABC Canada.

But all in all, I’m surpris(red) that the (PRODUCT)RED™  folks
haven’t gotten Starbucks onboard with this fantastic initiative and that Starbucks hasn’t jumped all over this opportunity to reinforce and add to their existing Red Cup branding.

** (RED) was created by Bono and Bobby Shriver, Chairman of DATA, to raise awareness and money for The Global Fund by teaming up with the world’s most iconic brands to produce (PRODUCT) RED-branded products. A percentage of each (PRODUCT) RED product sold is given to The Global Fund. The money helps women and children with HIV/AIDS in Africa. /

Alexa Clark

Alexa is a digital marketer and author with over 20 years in digital & interactive communications in the food and tech industries. Alexa's CheapEats Restaurant Guides, for both Toronto & Ottawa, were Canadian best sellers. She is a recognized authority on social media and has been named one of Canada's 20 Leading Women in Social Media.

6 thoughts on “INFER(RED) Cup (aka #45 Ante Up)

  • November 25, 2006 at 4:39 pm

    Starbucks (aka Fourbucks) is all about marketing (and profits). “Venti Soy Mocha Half Sweet No Foam w/ toffee sprinkles”… sounds like a meal in itself! The only thing that it’s missing is “would you like fries with that” LOL

    I love coffee but I am not a fan Starbucks beans. I think I’d rather stick with my plain “Double Double” elsewhere.

  • November 25, 2006 at 10:41 pm

    That whole “Bono saves teh World” thing makes me laugh. Here’s a man berating our Prime Minister for not “giving” enough but will sue the pants off one of his ex-minders for stealing piddly trinkets from him.
    Seriously, though. I’ve never liked U2 since they screwed Negativeland into near oblivion for parodying one of their songs, then turned around and used “Borrowed” downloaded images and video from the internet during their Zooropa tour.
    Yes what he’s doing is important. Money, awareness, bla bla bla. Good on him. But he’s got more money that god himself. He moved the whole band out of Ireland to get a tax credit, for Sinead’s sake.

  • November 25, 2006 at 6:29 pm

    You made me want Starbucks. Damn you! Then again, I do have that gift card…

  • November 25, 2006 at 9:16 pm

    i would have some slight admiration for starbucks if they did join (product)RED, as they are definitely as big, if not bigger than Gap, Motorola, and Apple are in this country today.

  • November 30, 2006 at 4:35 am

    Thanks for finding and linking to Idea Sandbox… I’m glad you found my links useful. Happy Holidays! – Paul

  • November 30, 2006 at 4:46 am

    And, oh… about the site change… I agree, it’s confusing when we know is the place to go and then Starbucks changed it…
    Starbucks wanted to have a site that would be global… there were some versions of TheRedCup.____ that were not available… Also, SBUX didn’t want to step on toes with the use of the terms “red cup” – Nescafe has a coffee product called Red Cup…


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