Monday, June 1, 2009

Starbucks goes “sophisticated and upscale”……?

In the you’ve-got-to-be-putting-me-on file, MSNBC and Starbucks just announced the launch of a special marketing initiative between the two companies whereby the Seattle chain will become a name sponsor of the cable news programmer’s “Morning Joe” show, with Joe Scarborough.

The deal allows for on-air Starbucks brand plugs, announcements, and visual references within the body of the weekday news-and-talk program. Future remote broadcasts may take place within Starbucks locations around the country.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, in commenting on the deal, said the “Morning Joe” show makes great sense for his company, calling the audience “sophisticated and upscale.”

Let’s get this straight. With its business suffering in profound ways, with hundreds of stores closing, with its reputation as the place where the urban elite go for lattes, with millions of consumers forced to cut back on even small indulgences and others avoiding even the hint of conspicuous consumption as bad manners in a reeling economy, with the company doing everything it can to say its $4-per-cup image isn’t deserved, with all that……they’re now ballyhooing a deal to reach the posh and polished?

I'm only slightly kidding to wonder if they'd be better off doing a deal with NASCAR.
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