It’s that time of year when we are all waiting for the miracle of… the red cups from Starbucks. After last year’s drama of boycotting Christmas by only using a plain red cup with an ombré effect this year, Starbucks decided to embrace the drama and bring back the plain red cups with a clever twist.
For the first time, Starbucks red cups will feature 13 different cup designs created by customers from 6 different countries during last December when Starbucks invited it’s clients to share their designs on Instagram with the aim of expressing the shared spirit of the holidays.
In just eight days, Starbucks received more than 1,200 individual submissions from 13 countries, which is actually not a surprise because everyone was trying to “fix” Starbucks red cups. The Starbucks Creative team printed each design and noticed the trends that began to emerge – graphic, inspirational, intricate, seasonal, typographic. Next, they invited some customers to send in their cup so that it could be evaluated for production, of course, it is not easy to completely replicate the hand work, so they worked to honor the integrity of the work making as few changes as possible.
“We loved how the red cups with white designs naturally created a collection… They hang together as one idea, but each expression is unique.”
– Dena Blevins, creative director, Starbucks Global Creative Studio.
The artists behind the work hail from all over the world and different backgrounds – a college student studying in Germany, a hair stylist near Philadelphia, an aspiring artist in New York. Let’s meet them:
Birds & Flowers
Florencia: Bandung, Indonesia
“The magnolia symbolizes friends and love and the hedge sparrow represents faith and creativity. I hope that my design inspires people to joyfully love life and be creative, even when faced with tough times.”
Maria Lauren: New York City, United States – New York-based aspiring artist
“I was looking around my home for inspiration and when I looked at my tree I thought about how beautiful the lights were,” she said.
Chloe: Plainfield, Illinois, United States – Nurse
“It is such a beautiful sight seeing the bare trees covered up in snow,” she said. “The first thing that comes to mind is home.”
Jennifer: Seattle, United States – professional artist and illustrator
“My goal was to merge the whimsical candy cane elements with the botanical patterns… that would not only capture the spirit of the holiday season but also work with the red ombré…”
Anz Soza: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
“I love the Christmas season so I was really inspired. To me, the color red symbolizes the celebration of love and life,” she said.
Samantha: Broomall, Pennsylvania, United States – Hair stylist
“My daughter was three weeks old and I was doodling during nap times,” she said. Now she’s looking forward to creating new holiday traditions with her daughter, who will soon be celebrating her first birthday.
Love and Joy
Anna: Toronto, Canada
Santa’s sleigh and reindeer take flight above a snow-covered village in this design from Anna, who lives in the heart of Toronto – one of Canada’s most vibrant cities known for its rich cultural heritage.
Christina: Bakersfield, California, United States – Student of landscape architecture
“Part of the job of a landscape architect is to connect people to the environment by creating a sense of place. I decided to evoke the Christmas spirit by creating a design with a plant that is symbolic of the season.”
Erica: Markham, Ontario, Canada – Paralegal graduate
“My sister was stuck on the couch for a month, so we spent a lot of time coloring together,” she said. “When I wanted to change it up, I switched to doodling on Starbucks cups!”
Alisa: St. Petersburg, Russia
“The holiday mood made me try to draw on the Starbucks cup for the first time,” she said. Her design features snowflakes and reindeer patterned after a cozy sweater.
Bronwyn: Moscow, Idaho, United States – College student
“Everything was still and snow-covered. The contrast was beautiful – it was almost like a black and white photo all around us,” she said. “The simplicity of the image transferred easily into a wintery design.”
Eun Joo: Daejeon, South Korea
“There are many people – like different patterns of overlapping circles – but everyone can have happy memories with a cup of coffee at Starbucks.”
Tracy: Los Angeles, United States – Professional artist
“I love the nature and the woods, so I decided to illustrate a wooden wreath with ornaments of various shapes and patterns. Topping it all off is some snow, a bow and a dash of holidays.
Honestly, they definitely owned it! Using the doodles from customers around the world to show what Christmas means to them was a clever idea since they were hardly criticized last year for not sharing the Holiday spirit. It is a way of telling the world “Hey! We’ve heard you and now we are sharing your Christmas vibes (so we don’t have problems again).
But well.. at least this is my f opinion
P.S. The teaser campaign was perfect! Remember to always embrace the problems and make the best of them.