WTF Was Starbucks Thinking When They OK’d 2015’s #RedCup?



As a tradition dating back to 1997, Starbucks introduces their holiday cup starting each November 1st.

Past years have featured carolers and reindeer, geometric ornaments and stars, snowflakes and scarves, and it’s always delightful. So after 10 long months of waiting, forgive me for experiencing childlike letdown over this year’s Red Cup.

Because it’s just red. That’s it.

Starbucks’ website claims this is to let customers make their own story. They also point out that it’s actually more than one color. From Starbucks: “This year’s iconic red Starbucks cup features a two-toned ombré design, with a bright poppy color on top that shades into a darker cranberry below.”

Some are hailing it as elegant. And I can see that. I like Rothko, I do. I just don’t...not for this.

It’s a magical time of year, people. Get on board.

So here are some possibilities that might have occurred during the final design phase:

Scenario One:

Starbucks’ design team is run by a guy who is really into all things Jessica Alba. He loves Alba. He thinks: This woman can do no wrong.

And when he sees the brilliance of Alba’s ombré bob haircut, design guy cannot wait — CANNOT WAIT — to get this into Starbucks somehow.

Scenario Two:

Starbucks wants to open 100 more stores in China. But China wants something in return.

What can Starbucks offer?

A red cup that is unapologetically RED.

Scenario Three:

It’s almost election time, people. All red is for all-Republican.

Starbucks is prepping for its March reveal of a Democrat cup, under the guise of Spring Break, Ocean Theme.

Blue cup. Get ready.

Scenario Four:

Starbucks’ design team was recently relocated to Denver, and the newest recreational pastime there has not been overlooked by team members.

Designer One: Duuuude, what day is it?

Designer Two: I dunno...lemme check. Um...ctober? October something?

Designer One: Ah noooooo. We gotta design something, man. We gotta design that. what was it? That uh. The red cup.

Designer Two: The red cup?

Designer One: Yeah, yeah. The red cup. For Christmas and stuff.

Designer Two: (pause) But...if it’s just red, I don’t get it. Design a color?


Designer One: Duuuude. You’re so right! It’s just a red cup! Ahahaha!

Scenario Five:

Starbucks has recently hired a new Design Team lead, because let’s face it: past designers have been a little too eager to please.

New Boss during design meeting:

“Snowflakes? Obvious!

Reindeer? This isn’t just about Christmas!

Ornaments? See above!

Stars? They’ve been done! They’ve been done!

We live in an age, everyone. An age of excessive distraction, everyone GO GO GO!

Starbucks is gonna bring the peace in this cup. We’re gonna bring the craziness down at least half a notch, here. We are gonna serve serenity.”

Underling interrupts:

Um, boss? It’s’s a cup of caffeine. I mean...and it’s, um...your design is all red, which is like...a color that is often associated with um...rage? And anger? And want to do just that...”

It’s not just one color! It’s an ombré!”

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