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ON: The Hijacking of Starbucks

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 · 
May 26, 2009
 · 
2 min read

This is a a story of Social Media gone terribly wrong... Or is it?  Tuesday I was researching Starbucks' most recent campaign launch when I ran across, Filmmaker, Robert Greenwald's documentary about the union busting practices at
Starbucks.  This find was not a mistake.  Greenwald and his company Brave New Films planned it that way. 

The same day that Starbucks launched it's' multi-million dollar scavenger hunt-like ad campaign in order to
“harness the power of online social networking sites...”, Greenwald & company launched a blog post
at an anti-Starbucks website Brave New Films created.  The post encouraged people to take pictures of themselves in front of Starbucks
stores holding signs targeted at the company’s “anti-labor practices.”

Like the Starbucks campaign, users are then told to upload these photos onto Twitpic and tweet
them out to their followers using the hashtags #top3percent and
#starbucks. According to the post, these are the official hashtags that
were designated by the Starbucks.

1

Within hours, several people had followed these guidelines and
there were dozens of Twitpics in front of stores across the country.

As of this post, the anti-Starbucks YouTube video has amassed over 49,000 views and was featured on the front page of Digg.

In an bad economy - where the consumer perception is that big corporations have forgotten about real people - does this seem like poor planning on the part of Starbucks? 

What I think is unmistakable is that, transparency is king and customers really do manage the air waves.

ON: The Hijacking of Starbucks via @jpenabickley
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