Popular coffee brand Starbucks found itself deep in controversy for its new marketing campaign. On May 10, they released a new advertisement focussing on transgender rights. 'It Starts With Your Name' was the tagline or hashtag of the campaign by Starbucks India. In the two-minute, four-second clip, they showed a parent duo sitting at a Starbucks outlet. They were waiting for their son at the coffee shop, and it seemed that the father was having trouble accepting his decision to transition into female identity. Take a look at the full ad by Starbucks here:
Your name defines who you are - whether it's Arpit or Arpita. At Starbucks, we love and accept you for who you are. Because being yourself means everything to us. #ItStartsWithYourName. 💚 pic.twitter.com/DKNGhKZ1Hg— Starbucks India (@StarbucksIndia) May 10, 2023
The story of the advertisement was that the father's relationship with his son 'Arpit' was troubled after his decision to transition to a female identity - 'Arpita'. The tension in the interaction is quite apparent when the mother cautions him not to get angry this time. However, it seems that over time, the father came to terms with the transition and in fact, indicated his acceptance by ordering coffee for the family of 'Arpita'. "Your name defines who you are - whether it's Arpit or Arpita. At Starbucks, we love and accept you for who you are. Because being yourself means everything to us," read the tweet by the official handle of Starbucks.
The marketing campaign by Starbucks went viral in a span of just 48 hours, garnering over 2.5 million tweet views and 530k video views. The advertisement focussed on transgender rights and inclusivity stirred up a debate on social media. Some felt that it was breaking the mould and championing a good cause. "Good to see some effort for gender inclusivity in India," said one user. Others felt that this kind of subject needed to be dealt with in a sensitive manner, and the campaign was not necessary in the first place. "Why was this advertisement necessary, you were already doing good in India," said one user addressing Starbucks. The hashtag 'Boycott Starbucks' too began to trend on Twitter in India on May 12.
Take a look at the reactions and responses:
Fail to understand the need for a multinational to get into sensitive topics in a country of hypersensitive sentimental people. Huge dent in the brand!!— ProfMKay 🇮🇳 (@ProfMKay) May 11, 2023
there are many arpita trapped inside arpit
now, thanks to starbucks, the problem is solved!— JabarDasti (@jabardasti) May 11, 2023
Never been to a Starbucks never will do because I prefer independent coffee shops that make real coffee would love. I'm one of those that does not consider Starbucks coffee— JIX5A (@JIX5A) May 11, 2023
Seriously, we will deal with our issues when they come up; the last thing I need is preaching by a Western MNC. You take care of serving coffee.— Suresh R Chitturi (@iChitturi) May 12, 2023
I understand the Father's Pain and Dilemma BUT his Son just could no longer live as someone whom he never associated himself with and that is the Harsh Truth .
This is LIFE . Not always what we want it to be.
BOLD Ad by @StarbucksIndia . 👏👏— Prashant (@sasguy235) May 11, 2023
Ok... with so many issues in the world, this deserves everyone's unwavering attention. Wokism of the highest order...— Ranjeeth R (@ranjeeeth) May 11, 2023
Stop advising your customers… you are just selling coffee— Mr.Indo Jin (@misterindojin) May 11, 2023
Tapri waale bhaiya ki chai > Starbucks.— Naveen (@_naveenish) May 11, 2023
What did you think of the advertisement by Starbucks? Tell us in the comments.
About Aditi AhujaAditi loves talking to and meeting like-minded foodies (especially the kind who like veg momos). Plus points if you get her bad jokes and sitcom references, or if you recommend a new place to eat at.