With International Coffee Day coming up this Sunday, I wanted to let my creative juices flow and put something together for a giant in the industry. As a coffee lover, the obvious choice was Starbucks. Not just because they make the best coffee (personal opinion) but because their brand is so strong. If you’re interested, I’ve gone into detail about my thought process below.
I wanted to create a short video ad that showcases coffee at the heart of everything we do, linking it to everyday uses, and empowering it as an essential. The goal was to ignite an emotional connection with coffee and Starbucks.
Creativity is what cuts through and demands attention, that’s why it’s a huge part of everything I do with c360 at connective3. Every coffee shop is probably going to put something out about International Coffee Day – my goal was to create something different. Think differently and win big. I played on the strength of the brand of Starbucks. Everyone knows what Starbucks is. The goal is to inspire people to consider buying one.
I brainstormed ideas and tried to pinpoint all the times people enjoy a coffee. Mornings are obviously synonymous with coffee, with so many people starting their day off with a brew. This led to the link to the other half of the day, and those that drink coffee for an afternoon boost. I then wanted to link it to common scenarios and locations where you might enjoy a coffee: on your commute, or even just working from home, thus playing on the fact you can get it delivered. I wanted to present coffee as something that makes people better, and I had to include a section about it inspiring creativity and ambition.
This is where I had to get creative and tell the story. I took a poetry-like approach, painting coffee as the central point of everything we do – involving everyday actions and packing in as many uses of coffee as possible (and a few puns of course). I wanted to include buzzwords to represent what coffee does in a powerful way, for example, fuel, spark and ignite.
I purposely didn’t mention coffee throughout, instead referring to the drink as ‘it’. This was intended so that the consumer didn’t just think that the powerful words were about any old coffee, but all about Starbucks. The overall tone is designed to be inspiring and make somebody crave a coffee, in particular a Starbucks Coffee. The script was the part where I take most of the credit, although I did lean on old, trusty ChatGPT for some fine-tuning.
Generated solely through Midjourney, I wanted the iconic white Starbucks-branded cup at the centre of every shot. This was to both keep the brand at the forefront of the viewer’s mind, linking relatable everyday scenarios directly to coffee and implying that everything starts with a Starbucks. The script doesn’t mention the brand until the very last word, so the visuals had to be strong enough for the viewer to know exactly which brand is being talked about throughout.
Coffee is for anyone and everyone, and the voiceover needed to reflect that. I didn’t want it to sound like a cinema announcer or news reporter. It needed to sound authentic like it was recorded by an everyday, normal person. The voice is completely generated by an AI tool called Eleven Labs which was a dream to work with.
The aim was to create an inspiring video, and that needed to be reflected in the audio. I needed a slow, subtle tune that complimented the voiceover and not overpowering it. The music runs throughout and cuts off just before the end to allow the all-important (and only…) audio mention of Starbucks to really stand out and be remembered.
The brand had to be extremely prominent, featuring the ever so recognisable green and iconic logo; also taking the final and most powerful part of the script and leaving it on screen. That’s what I really want people to remember. Great moments start with a sip of Starbucks.
It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, and there are some things I’d change if I was going to make this for real. My original idea was to keep the cup exactly the same throughout, with it only marginally changing location each shot. This was to visually allow the viewer to focus on the scenario and still subconsciously link it back to a Starbucks.
Another issue I had with Midjourney, is that it really wasn’t good at showing diversity (and no I’m not talking about the dance group from 2009’s BGT). No matter what I prompted, it struggled to generate people of different races and ethnicities. With Starbucks being a brand that is for everyone, I would have liked to have captured this more with the people in the shots.
The tools I utilised to create this project were Midjourney, Eleven Labs, After Effects, Photoshop and Premiere Pro. Overall, this project took me six hours last night and I didn’t even have to leave my chair or spend a penny. That’s the real power of AI, it has allowed me to turn an idea into a (albeit not perfect) visual in such a short amount of time
At connective3 we’ve just launched our new service called c360, which is the cool new name for our connected campaigns that have creativity at the helm. Drop us a message if you’d like to learn more about the service. Let’s talk about how c360 can help your brand cut through the noise. Alternatively, you can check out our LinkedIn to keep yourself updated on our c360 work!