HoHoHo #RedCups or HoOhNo

The holiday season is back and in full force. It’s almost as if the clock struck midnight on Halloween and we woke up on Christmas morning. Whole Foods has Christmas lights up, Target welcomes you with red and white-checkered throw pillows and the hotly anticipated Starbucks Red Cups have re-appeared.

The first red cup campaign launched in 1997 and brought along with it an obsessive following that has spread across the globe. Annual redesigns are what keep the red cup campaign relevant, but after 18 different versions of one cup, it’s time to bring in something new. Please welcome the Red Cup emoji.


After revealing a carefully cropped and wintery-themed post on Twitter, simply hashtag #RedCups and you’ve got yourself a virtual latte to complement that perfect filter.

For some, this premature launch of Christmas marketing is just in bad taste. As mentioned in the AOl.com Article, David Beard, the executive editor at PRI tweeted, “Too soon! @Starbucks holiday red cups return. #RedCups #HoOhNo”


Is this premature holiday launch just a push to show the world a trademarked Red Cup emoji? Is it a method to prolong seasonal income? Or is it just a not-so-subtle attempt to become corporate ruler of Christmas?

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3 Responses to HoHoHo #RedCups or HoOhNo

  1. Alexandria Coleman says:

    Christmas spirit the day after Halloween has become so commonplace that I hardly consider this a “premature holiday launch.” As you mentioned, this immediate holiday marketing is everywhere. I walked into Walmart on Nov. 1 this year and the leftover Halloween candy had already been consolidated into one aisle and there were employees stocking three aisles with holiday items. Did I think “Wow, Christmas already?” Yes. But, it was just a passing thought that has no impact on my view of the brand. I have gotten so used to holiday marketing throughout November that the release of Starbucks Red Cups seems right on time.

    As for your question about Starbucks attempting to become the corporate ruler of Christmas: I‘m convinced that both Starbucks and Amazon are trying to take over the world (and if they continue such great marketing efforts, I think they will). These two companies constantly impress me. 1-hour delivery? A personalized emoji? How do you even go about getting your own emoji? I have no idea, but it is not surprise that Starbucks was the one that got it done.

  2. Teresa Joseph says:

    I think the biggest issue with Starbucks’ new cups isn’t that they are being released too soon, but it’s the outrage it’s receiving from the public on not being as festive as they usually are. People were actually angry about the cups being plain red instead of including symbols of snowflakes and reindeer like they usually do. I honestly don’t think the company could have prepared for this type of response for just a plain red cup. People have gone online criticizing Starbucks and a lot of them have even started saying the company hates Jesus. An American evangelist, Joshua Feuerstein, went on social media with a huge rant about the company’s new cup design and his video received over 500,000 shares. This outrage really shows how little things like this can really impact a company and its reputation.

  3. Kimberly Linn says:

    I honestly don’t see why this is a big deal. Of course Starbucks has changed the color of the cup because of the holiday season, but this does not (or at least should not be) the end all identifier of the approaching holiday season. Personally, I find it intensely more annoying that Christmas songs will soon be taking over the radio airwaves.

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