Mobile Advertising Done Beautifully Via Starbucks

Posted on October 31, 2012


     Starbucks recently launched its own espresso maker, the Verismo, and is making a big push to advertise it via the mobile web.  Frankly, it is about as good of a mobile campaign as I could think of.  

     The mobile banner ads can be found in places like Harper Bazaar.  Once clicked, they take you to the Starbucks mobile website where you are given an array of options.  You can read a product description, read customer reviews, buy it online, or use your phone’s GPS to go to the nearest Starbucks store to purchase it in-store.  In my humble opinion, it is a Grade A effort.  

     What I’d really like to find out is what percentage of sales will ultimately come from the mobile advertising efforts.  


Davis Wood, Senior Account Manager, SiteMinis Inc


Starbucks leans on mobile advertising to drive online, in-store revenue for Verismo



October 31, 2012

Starbucks is running a mobile advertising campaign that aims to drive in-store traffic and mobile revenue for its new Verismo products.

The Starbucks mobile ads are running inside Harper Bazaar’s mobile site. Starbucks has consistently relied on mobile advertising in the past few years as a way to spread the word about new products and services.

“If consumers are willing to buy $40,000 dollar automobiles through eBay on their mobiles, they will definitely not hesitate to purchase a $200 dollar coffee maker,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta.

“Mobile is just another payment portal and shouldn’t be considered any different than any cash register, except that mobile is portable and more convenient.  Mobile devices are no longer a novelty, they are another tool in a consumers arsenal of access points.”

Ms. Troutman is not affiliated with Starbucks. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.


Starbucks did not respond to press inquiries.

Mobile brew
The copy for the mobile ad reads, “Impossible until now” and includes photos of Starbucks’ logo and a Verismo machine.

When users tap on the ads, they are directed to the Starbucks mobile site that features Verismo products.

From there, consumers can learn more by scrolling down the page.

Additionally, users can read reviews of Verismo products, which can be helpful to introduce a new product to consumers.

The site uses a device’s built-in GPS to find the nearest Starbucks stores to buy the products.

Consumers can also shop straight from their devices from Starbucks’ online store. Items can be sorted by best-selling, ratings or price.

Individual product pages can then be shared via Facebook and Twitter or users can write reviews of items.

Using mobile advertising to initially launch a product such as Verismo is a smart move for Starbucks. In this case, letting users pick to learn more about the products, find a nearby store or shop directly gives consumers a wide variety of choices in how they want to interact with content.

The Starbucks mobile ads

Mobile reign
Starbucks has a strong hold on the mobile space.

The company consistently tests different mobile mediums to drive in-store traffic and engagement.

For instance, earlier this fall the company ran a mobile campaign that encouraged consumers to use the Starbucks mobile app to pay for 12 drinks in order to unlock an eGift (see story).

More specifically, Starbucks tends to use mobile advertising as part of a multichannel marketing approach for seasonal and new products.

Most recently, Starbucks used mobile ads that tied in with Twitter to promote its line of fall products (see story).

“Mobile will continue to grow and become critically important to overall commerce in the future for one main reason — convenience,” Ms. Troutman said. “Mobile makes commerce easy, if done right.”