Starbucks Paints the Town Red...Again

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Starbucks "Its Red Again"
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Spreading holiday cheer has never been easier, thanks to Starbucks' annual "Red Cup" holiday campaign. Once again focusing heavily on the web, this year's installment also serves up extra helpings of user-submitted content, social networking and a nifty offline viral component, to boot. All elements play off the new "On With Tradition" tagline, celebrating the warmth and wealth of unique holiday traditions from around the world, and can be found at "We wanted to create a global community to show that celebrating the holidays, regardless of your background or religious creed, is a universal thing," says Wieden + Kennedy copywriter Chris Jacobs. "We really wanted to tap into that and create a platform for people to check out how would somebody in South Africa is celebrating the holidays, versus somebody in Texas."

It all starts with the innovative "Cheer Pass" component, a grassroots street-level effort that calls on people to spread generosity and joy by performing good deeds for others and passing on numbered cards that track the ever-expanding chain of cheer. Recipients of said cheer are encouraged to visit the Cheer Pass microsite to share their tales of holiday kindness.

The cheer-spreading then continues with the International Tradition Registry at, which allows visitors to submit their own personal stories and family traditions (along with pictures) to be added to a map of the world. Once a week, one lucky tradition will be chosen to be acted out by the Tradition Keeper, a cheery holiday guru who serves as the host of the site. "We thought he'd be a great vehicle to talk about these traditions that get passed on from year to year," says art director Karen Hite. "He's kind of a contemporary version of Santa Claus and all of these other fictional holiday characters." It's also a nifty way to add an amusing wrinkle to the user-generated content trend. "It's a fresh perspective," says creative director Danielle Flagg. "Instead of having people make their own videos of their traditions, we have the Tradition Keeper play each role in his own hysterical performance." Finally, seasonal love can also be spread via the Personalized Greeting message generator (which combines live action tidings from the Tradition Keeper himself with a text-to-speech or phone recorded message delivered by your choice of "spokestoy").
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