Beware: cheap coffee comes with a price


After pressure for the global consumers, Starbucks eventually had to surrender and launched a new Fair Trade product line alongside its marketing and advertising campaign. Part of the campaign includes this ad, which was launched by the company in 2009.

The message alludes to emotions and, by using this text Starbucks justifies the high prices of their coffee by claiming that it is fair trade. “Beware the cheap coffee comes with a price”, which implies that if you buy cheaper coffee, you are taking advantage of exploited farmers.

However, the information is misleading since not all the coffee that starbucks sells is fair trade coffee, just a low percentage. But, of course, that is not mentioned in the ad. What kind of coffee from Starbucks is fair trade? How can consumers be certain of this? Where can they get more information? These are questions that the ad fails to answer since the ad does not even include a call to action message where consumers can go if they want more information about the fair trade coffee.

The slogan “It’s not just coffee, it’s Starbucks”, has the intention to promote the message that, when you buy Starbucks, you are not only buying coffee, but you are also socially conscious and responsible.

Finally, This ad is targeted equally to all buyers of Starbucks, however it is likely that young adults will be more aware of what fair trade coffee is and react towards it.


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