Friday, May 2, 2014

Will you take your mom to Starbucks for Mother's Day?

I was intrigued when I learned from an ad in the main news section of The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, that Starbucks has partnered with Oprah to develop a new tea product called Oprah Chai Tea.  It's apparently part of a new push by Starbucks to aggressively grow its tea business.  (Hmm.  No wonder Lipton Tea ran its Muppet ad on the Oscar's.)

The commercial for Oprah Chai Tea, which begins airing on Monday, is sure to draw some hate mail since it includes a same-sex partnership in its exploration of different kinds of moms.  It also mentions that a 25 cent donation will be made to charity for each cup bought.  (It doesn't mention that the charity is the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation.)  You can check it out here now.

The spot also encourages viewers to bring their moms in on Mother's Day for a free Teavana Oprah Chai. (Morrison, 2014)

So what do you think?  Is partnering with Oprah a smart idea?  And will you bring your mom in for some free tea?

Morrison, M. (2014, May 2)  Starbucks, Oprah Celebrate Mother's Day in 72andSunny Spot.  Retrieved May 2, 2014 from


  1. I want to not like this ad but I consider it to be quite effective. What better way to celebrate mom than over a nice cup of complementary tea. As a result, I now feel inclined to bring my mom to Starbucks on Sunday. Logistically speaking, I think this would be a nightmare because the lines at Startbucks are already out hand. Who would want to spend their mother's day waiting in line? I actually would considered some pop -up cafes with tea cakes and bite-sized cucumber sandwiches to amp up the "Aww/Cute/Sweet" factor. But that's another conversation -

    The partnership is a clever one because Oprah does attract the perfect demographic that Starbucks is trying to connect with. I'm guessing HH incomes of $90,000+, women 25 - 45, who are family-oriented and socially involved, and in either cosmopolitan or suburban communities. Besides online they probably bought time on HGTV/Bravo/ and Oprah's OWN channel.

    Regarding featuring the same-sex couple, if there is a backlash it'll probably work in their benefit because it'll bring in more attention to their campaign. The donation bit, is a nice touch but not the hero. The key message is to "come to Starbucks with your mom and get a free sponsored tea". Not, "come to starbucks and help support Oprah's leadership academy in South Africa".

  2. Since most Americans - especially middle America sings Oprah's phrases- I think Starbucks' collaboration with Oprah will be a successful one. I'm sure Oprah will also plug this collaboration on her OWN Network so it's an added bonus for Starbucks.

    I was aware of this collaboration with Oprah as Starbucks have posters in their coffee house windows to advertise the Oprah Chai Tea. As I am already a chai tea drinker, I wouldn't mind trying it and at the same time feel good about helping a charity even in a small way. Although I'm not too keen on Oprah's charity as I think it should benefit children in this country as we have a major problem when it comes to education especially in poor areas of the country.

    And why not, if my mom wants to try the free chai tea at Starbucks for Mother's day I am more than willing to take her - who would turn down free stuff? Not me.