Monday, October 24, 2005

Forced community awareness

I was standing in line with a colleague while they were buying their morning coffee.  The dealer, Starbucks.  We have a barista embedded in our building allowing our staff easy access to over priced under community compensated coffee.  I noticed a wonderfully formed advert for the social stance.  A beautifully composed photo of a unlabeled poor community with happy people running around.  This photo is intended to have us believe that these people where never happy until the extra 12 cents/ton started filling their pockets.  Under this photo a catchy slogan: As the leader in the Worldwide Coffee community, we must support….

Feel good.  The words community and support.   Aww thanks Starbucks.  Thanks a lot.

The word MUST is troubling.  Since Execs at SB have had their pockets lined with gold on the backs of the working men and women of the third world, should they not WANT to give a bit back.

I realized that Starbucks through this ad has given up on truly socially conscious people.  They are grasping at the lowest common denominator, the people who have heard a bit about corporation or have even possibly watched Corporation 101 (the corporation).

Feel good.  We are trying to help.  Fuck you.  You are trying to make millions by selling coffee that’s mediocre at best.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I don’t live in that dream world where people should be sowing our own crops and living off beat juice and tofu, but don’t patronize me.

If a cup of your coffee costs $2.25 don’t go trying to make people think they are helping a community by drinking it.  If you were really worried about the low man on the totem pole you would not be able to sell that coffee for less than 5 bucks.  And you know what I would by a 5 dollar coffee if I knew that the rainforests were not depleting and people were not starving because of your fair trade.  


Siel said...

Well -- If you're gonna go to Starbucks, even if it's cuz friends dragged you -- maybe you'd be interested in the Starbucks Challenge?

digi said...

I saw an interesting advert last night on the back of a bus. it was for Seattles Best coffee and the largest print on the banner was "Visit us at"

It's pretty clear the message here is "We know that a lot of you are trying to support local business and yes we have Seattle in the name showing our American roots. But look at the .ca! We're now as Canadian as anything else."

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