It’s September and you know what that means…it’s Pumpkin Spice Latte season. Americans’ love for the PSL is so strong and so widespread—I wouldn’t be surprised if fall officially became known as PSL season in the not-so-distant future. Why? Because the PR and marketing teams at Starbucks are absolute geniuses and they’ve done it again this year.
Just when you thought the PSL couldn’t get any bigger, Starbucks came through with something new. This year the PSL created its own Tumblr promotion to get fans excited for the drink’s return. According to PR Daily, Starbucks invited its MyStarbucksRewards members to participate in its “PSL Fan Pass” promotion on Tumblr to help celebrate the launch of the wildly popular seasonal drink.
Just enter the password “pumpkin” and your phone number and Starbucks would text you a pass for early access to the fall favorite, meaning you could buy the drink over Labor Day weekend rather than waiting until the official launch on Sept. 8. They didn’t just create “The Real PSL” Tumblr and wait for Starbucks fanatics to appear. They gave people a reason to visit by offering exclusive access in return.
They also gave them a reason to stay. The PSL Tumblr features several pages of varied and visually interesting content, from a gif of a latte cup on a safari to a photo of a dog with an orange bowl on his head. The page also gives users the opportunity to “Ask a Latte” whatever they’d like. Many of these user-generated questions are included on the PSL Tumblr along with clever answers from the PSL itself.
The latte also has its own Twitter page with over 100,000 followers and an Instagram account with nearly 20,000 followers, each with a consistent personality, voice and style. All of this combined with prominent placement on the Starbucks homepage, creates an incredibly unique and well-designed campaign. “The Real PSL” campaign began in 2014, but it seems the brand is taking it to new heights this year.
In the 11 years of the PSL’s existence, Starbucks has sold more than 200 million of the company’s most popular seasonal drink. It will be interesting to see what their numbers look like after this PSL season’s campaign is done.
What do you think of this campaign? Can you think of other brands that have launched such extensive campaigns for one of their products? How do they compare? Tell us what you think in the comments.