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May 22, 2019

Starbucks: When a detail goes viral

Starbucks: When a detail goes viral


The buzz around the final season of the series "Game of Thrones" was coupled with the fact that a modern, decontextualized disposable coffee cup appeared in one of its episodes. Although the brand was not visible, a buzz was immediately created on social media when viewers of the series associated the object with the Starbucks brand. It was later announced by production company HBO that this was just a cup of coffee. catering from a local establishment, and that it was all just a production error, denying that there was any deliberate product placement, known as embedded advertising.

Whether deliberate or not, what is certain is that the American coffee chain benefited from enormous media exposure and didn't pay a penny for it. Let's take a look to values. How much was all the free publicity Starbucks received worth? Stacy Jones, CEO of marketing company Hollywood Branded, did the math and came up with a figure of 2.3 billion dollars.

However, it is practically impossible to estimate, with absolute certainty, the value that this production error has brought to Starbucks, since it is not possible to calculate the publicity generated through the word-of-mouth. Even so, various social media analysis platforms counted more than 193,000 mentions of the brand (associated with the cup), and more than 10,000 news items on the subject. The data shows that "the cup" surpassed the events of the episode in terms of interest and discussion.

The truth is that the topic has had a lot of reach and has been discussed, mainly due to the discontent on the part of fans of the series regarding this mistake. But even so, we can learn a lesson from the whole situation: the perceived power that a brand can have over its audience. The fact that the object was immediately associated with Starbucks is proof of the brand's strength and the way it dominates today's popular culture.



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