By bringing some light-relief to mask-wearing, the brand successfully normalises something which all consumers must increasingly embrace as part of everyday life.
Deputy Editor, BITE
Starbucks is famous for writing customers’ names on cups. So, as masks became mandatory in UK cafes, we played into this with a self-deprecating visual for Starbucks’ social channels that showed the even greater challenge baristas face, thanks to customers wearing their masks.
Wearing a mask is fast becoming a fact of everyday life in the age of Coronavirus. While in some countries the very act of wearing one is still generating controversy, in the UK most consumers recognise that wearing a mask is an important safety procedure, one designed to protect not only the wearer but also those around them.
While the debate over wearing masks or not rages on social media, another problem has presented itself; it can be difficult to hear people’s speech clearly through the face coverings. A new ad from Iris for Starbucks thanks its customers for wearing masks by self-deprecatingly making a joke out of the practice of writing a name on the store’s cups, and the frequency with which its baristas get the spellings wrong.
The visual not only positions mask-wearing as an altruistic act but it also shows the even greater challenge the baristas face, thanks to the customers vigilance in covering up. The humour is perfectly balanced with the fundamental important message at the heart of the campaign that encourages customers to stay socially responsible.
In a sea of cookie cutter pandemic advertising, this social ad is a welcome shot of light hearted relief, a proactive campaign that responded not to a client brief but rather to the life consumers are living right now. By bringing some light-relief to mask-wearing, the brand successfully normalises something which all consumers must increasingly embrace as part of everyday life.