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Fight the Machine.


Starbucks executives, always on the lookout for ways to make more money (as they should be), have, until now, sat idly watching the growth of Nespresso and Keurig. Home and office brewing of coffee in single servings it is a hot category.  A category that follows the razor blade theory…discount the device, make money on the replenishments.

Starbucks see this single brew trend as not going away and recognizes coffee bought in pods is not coffee bought at their retail stores. Sooo, they’ve decided to sell a coffee maker. In other words, they are betting against themselves and accelerating the single serve brew category.

Stop it!  This is not a line extension, it’s a cannibalization. It diminishes the mission of the brand. These machines are the enemy.  The afternoon Starbucks run, the mocha, choca, locca $6.50 morning drink, the aroma of the coffee beans and din of the cool music gone. Fight it. Go all Davy Crockett on its ass. Davy may be dead but he’s alive in our hearts and minds and he defended and reshaped a country.

Starbucks is part of the craft economy. Convenience be damned.  Starbucks needs to stand up and fight! Fight the machine. Peace this holiday season.


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I was reading an article about Nestle’s Nespresso coffee machine today and it mentioned George Clooney is the spokesperson in Europe.  He won’t be used in the U.S. the article went on to say because the ads needed to tell the Nespresso system story.  In other words, the story behind the single serving coffee making machine would be compromised if George Clooney were to tell it.  That’s sort of silly, don’t you think. Or is it?

In day after recall testing,  if asked to describe the TV spot you saw with George Clooney in it would you talk about the brewing process and the special machine, or would you say “That’s the George Clooney coffee maker, right?”

When the talent gets in the way of the message, it’s a marketing mistake.  When the talent selection supports and reinforces the product, it’s a home run.  Courtney Love would make a good spokesperson for run-proof eyeliner.  You feel me?

Talent is important. Everything in an ad is important. Peace.

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