Advertising · Digital Influences · Public Relations · Social Media

Starbucks Marketing Is Unicorn Magic

Did you get your Unicorn Frappuccino from Starbucks?  Yea, me neither.  I did, however, spend a weekend looking at the frothy beverage in all of it’s glory on my various social media feeds from friends you made the magical journey to partake in the multi-colored sugar rush.

Where on earth did Starbucks come up with the idea for this concoction?  Social media.  The company has said that the bev was inspired by unicorn memes.  How did this beverage take the country by storm? Social media.   The power of social media is as magical as the popularity of a unicorn beverage.  By the way, the drink was as rare as its namesake, it was available from April 19th to April 23rd.   If you’re like me and didn’t get a chance to try it, don’t worry, the folks at BuzzFeed tried it out for us!

Social Media Winner

People love things that are limited.  They like being one of the few people to enjoy something that is not available to the masses.  Starbucks struck gold using that concept to make the drink available for only a few days.  McDonald’s does it with the Shamrock Shake and the McRib, Disney does it with their movies they release from the vault.  It’s a proven method of boosting sales and creating demand.  Sure, it can fail, but lets face it… Starbucks did not fail with the Unicorn Frappuccino.

The Starbucks Social Media team went into overdrive, retweeting, sharing and interacting with the frenzied frappaccino fanatics.  Social. Media. Marketing. Gold.  Some people were absolutely fanatical about the frapp…

My friend Jessica expressed her love for the Unicorn with her hair (used with Jessica’s permission).

Starbucks is known for using limited advertising.  From what I can see, this was a social media marking plan that worked like a charm.  I only heard about it through social media, from the friends that managed to score one of the limited drinks.

Final Thoughts

This should be a lesson in good social media marketing.  Love or hate Starbucks, this surely had an outstanding ROI.  Fans of the Unicorn Frappuccino are likely looking forward to Starbucks’ next limited edition beverage masterpiece… which happens to be the Mermaid Frappuccino.  That’s right, it’s already out there.  Enjoy!


Cover photo credit:


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