Starbucks Spreads Cheer via Holiday Campaign

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

Starbucks is getting into the holiday spirit. The coffee giant is seeding out its new Cheer Pass as a means to inspire others to spread goodwill and commit random acts of kindness.

Beginning today, Starbucks President and CEO Jim Donald is teaming up with 50 Starbucks employees to distribute 8,000 “acts of cheer,” including offering complimentary subway MetroCards, copies of The New York Times, $5 Starbucks gift cards and bags of Starbucks Christmas Blend coffee to New Yorkers. With each act of goodwill, Starbucks will distribute a Cheer Pass.

“What we are trying to do is create uplifting experiences for customers and show them how much we appreciate them,” says Brad Stevens, VP-marketing for Starbucks.

Recipients can share their experiences at Starbucks’ holiday Web site by entering codes from individually numbered cards. Starbucks is tracking those deeds to find out how far goodwill will travel, Stevens says.

Starbucks plans to hand out 500,000 Cheer Passes through the holiday season or about 10,500 per day, Stevens says. Cheer Passes can also be downloaded or e-mailed from

The campaign is running in 9,000 Starbucks stores in the U.S and Canada. Online materials and prints ads support in Real Simple, Wired, Vanity Fair and Condé Nast Traveler. Starbucks handles in-house with p.r. agency Edelman.

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