The primary assumption underlying the ad’s success is that society is dependent on coffee. This deceptively minimalistic ad is constructed to draw the viewer’s eye to certain key features, the most prominent of which is a Styrofoam coffee cup that occupies nearly half of the ad, its lid lying upside down to the side of the cup. The cup is white and brightly illuminated, in stark contrast to the dark and blurry background. This forces the viewer to focus on the coffee cup since there is nowhere else for the viewer to look. In addition to encouraging the viewer to think about coffee, the Styrofoam cup serves another purpose: placing the viewer in a positive mindset. Styrofoam cups are used to hold hot beverages—in this case, hot coffee—so that the drinker does not burn his hands while holding the cup. The lid also has some condensation visible on the inside, suggesting that the drink in the cup was steaming up the underside of the lid before the lid was removed. Hot coffee holds a special place in coffee-drinkers’ hearts, as it is the go-to morning drink. The caffeine in hot coffee provides a much-needed burst of energy and drives away the final vestiges of sleep, and the warmth of...
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...ly since the available clientele would be unable to afford Starbucks drinks on a regular basis, and the clients that could would be unlikely to frequent low-income areas. Simply put, only rich people are able to drink the superior Starbucks coffee regularly, while impoverished people must turn to “lesser” coffeeshops to get their coffee fix; in other words, the impoverished are inferior to the wealthy.
Although Starbuck’s intentions in this advertisement are seemingly unassuming, the company unwittingly endorses a much more sinister mentality. The very implication that only Starbucks coffee is perfect alienates viewers who might be unable or unwilling to drink Starbucks coffee. Though Starbucks has become a household name, these households likely have family incomes much higher than the average, and this is made abundantly clear by this single, simple advertisement.
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