Valerie O’Neil, VP of global communications at Starbucks, told PRWeek via email that the company created brand messaging around the election following the Starbucks Leadership conference last week, where the company pledged support to such causes as community involvement.
"Joining with our US customers in celebrating the election is a logical extension of that commitment, and gave us a way to immediately support customers, who care about the same things we do and want to make a difference," said O’Neil, who also noted the tie-in was "a popular idea" at MyStarbucksIdea.com
The company initially connected the brand with the election by advertising that anyone who voted would receive free coffee. This promotion briefly ran afoul of election laws that bars remuneration for voting, and was widened to include any customer who requested a tall brewed coffee on Election Day.
Ultimately, regardless of the brief messaging mishap, the promotion was seen as a success with "great buzz online and in the stores," said O’Neil.