Using Social Media To Raise Awareness Through The Power Of Unicorns
Starbucks made the headlines recently with the introduction of a new drink: the Unicorn Frappuccino. The beverage, which is not believed to contain real unicorn, is sparkly and shiny and has caught the attention of consumers and the media. We are even covering it here on Android Social Media! Why have Starbucks introduced a bizarre and brightly colored new drink? In their own words the beverage is described as: “The flavor-changing, color-changing, totally not-made-up Unicorn Frappuccino. Magical flavors start off sweet and fruity transforming to pleasantly sour. Swirl it to reveal a color-changing spectacle of purple and pink. It's finished with whipped cream-sprinkled pink and blue fairy powders.”
This new drink, only available for a limited time, seems to go against the grain (or coffee bean) of their established portfolio of beverages because it's designed for how it looks as much as how it tastes. It doesn't even contain coffee! The reason why, as it turns out, is because the Unicorn Frappuccino is all about social media. Starbucks want customers to share what they are drinking as well as drink it.
— Travel + Leisure (@TravelLeisure) April 26, 2017
A Starbucks spokesperson told the Mashable website that the drink was inspired from “the fun, spirited and colorful unicorn-themed food and drinks that have been trending on social media.” When designing the drink, Starbucks cared about how it looks as much as how it tastes. Remember that the Unicorn Frappuccino is sold in a transparent glass for the world to see that you are drinking, um, unicorn juice? As such, it’s all about presenting an image to the world. And the world has taken notice; even Disney have produced their own version!
— Phoenix Shanklin 🔥 (@Da_Nerdette) April 25, 2017
Not all of the commentary on Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino is positive, but there has been a lot about the beverage! People have taken to social media to take selfies of their drinks, but for some this isn’t enough. We’ve seen people modelling their hair on the Unicorn Frappuccino, dogs converted into unicorns, and discussion about why the unicorn being so rare and should Starbucks be encouraging us to drink unicorn juice. On a more serious note, the company have been criticized about the amount of sugar in the beverage, which completely ignores their other sweetened beverages and for that matter, just about any sugared soda. The rule that any comment is positive means that the drink is getting a lot of attention, and many people are thinking about visiting their local Starbucks to see what all the fuss is about. Sometimes telling the world that you are anti-something, simply makes people investigate what it is you don’t like.
Starbucks designed a drink to market rather than market a drink, and social media is perfect for this sort of viral marketing. The social media tail is wagging the business dog! Social media has such a tremendous sway over people that this coverage is very valuable to a business. The Unicorn Frappuccino has given Starbucks a real buzz on social media: Starbucks certainly aren’t the first company to use social media for free advertising in this way, and they won’t be the last. The Unicorn Frappuccino has generated interest: some customers will like the beverage, some may try another drink, and some may even become regulars. More to the point, when we think of a Unicorn Frappuccino, we think of Starbucks. The hope is that we will also think of Starbucks when we are thirsty, want space to hang out with friends or write our latest novel. Yes; the Unicorn Frappuccino was not designed for how it tastes but for how it will come across. The drink may not be around for long, but it doesn’t need to be.
— Lauren Staas (@LaurenStaas) April 21, 2017