Starbucks is targeting Instagram and other social media platforms by the new Unicorn Frappuccino. It is made with the intention of creating an online buzz.
Unicorn Frappuccino by Starbucks
Also Read: Instagram Just Copied Pinterest!
The neon ‘Unicorn Frappuccino’ is so unlike Starbuck’s faux-Italian branding. The blue-and-pink drink, which is somewhere between sweet and sour, failed the taste test for many. Starbucks doesn’t really care though. The limited-time drink will not last long at the outlet, but it aims to do rounds on people’s social media feeds. It is like a meme. It seeks to capitalize on the unicorn theme, which is quite popular on Instagram. The way the drink looks is an important aspect of it. They took inspiration from the colorful and fun unicorn-themed food and drinks that are quite popular on the social media. The promotion will last for a week. The are also other items on the outlandish menu. The strategy is more about getting online shares than making actual sales. Customers have an impulse to share the photos of their foods and drinks online for the world to see. This is why restaurants are now more cautious about the way their meals look. It has made them offer food just for the sake of online fame. This type of product is called ‘stunt food’. It is not just about changing the menu, the crockery, and the packaging, but also the food itself. It is now a part of the marketing strategy of many major restaurants. Take Taco Bell’s example. It has offered foods like the ‘Dorito Locos tacos’, ‘Buffalo Wild Wings’ Mountain Dew-flavored chicken sauce’ and ‘Cap’n Crunch donut holes’. Jack in the Box once made a bacon milkshake. These type of products usually taste fine, some even taste good. Some even stay on the menu longer than it was intended. But their main aim is advertising and creating an online buzz. The online buzz could be even more if a company capitalizes on an already trending theme like Starbucks did. It is just like knowing the secret menu. People want to know about secret menus. Major chains like Taco Bell and McDonald’s understand this charm. They often dedicate a team of employees to study, analyze and monitor trends on different social media platforms. From that point on, a menu item can take months or sometimes even years to make. So, when you look at these items once they are out, you may think not much energy, thought, or effort went behind them. But in reality, a lot is done behind the scenes. Stunt foods are not new phenomena, however. Restaurants always try to attract customers by introducing things that people seem to be interested in. But the internet has given this trend a whole new meaning. This trend probably began with KFC’s ‘Double Down’ in 2009. It was a sandwich that consisted of two fried chicken patties that were separated by layers of cheese and bacon. It was called disgusting by many. But no matter what, it got plenty of tongues wagging, which means publicity. This made other food chains create whacky food items just to get some attention. So, coming up with outlandish food items that will attract attention is the new way to get more customers and publicity. Food chains try to be the first ones to introduce a certain concept. They try to do social listening to see what people are talking about and what they might be interested in. When a theme is trending, food chains race to be the first ones to introduce food related to it. However, some restaurants try to make the taste of menu items a priority instead of their visual appeal. But, social media now plays a large role in how food chains operate. Some food chains try to ensure that the paper lining on their tray will be a good backdrop for pictures! Not everyone seems to agree about the power of social media when it comes to marketing though. How do you know if an item is just creating a buzz or having an impact on the cash inflows? Stunt food also takes a long time and a lot of energy to make. The traditional advertising is losing its value fast. That is why creating a buzz online is even more important now. For now, Starbucks is pretty happy with the result. The customers have responded enthusiastically. The Unicorn Frappuccino now has many fans.
Stunt foods are visually gorgeous and may even bring companies their 5 minutes of fame. But if the taste lets the customers down, is the buzz worth it? Are stunt foods like a two-edged sword?
Also Read: How To Make Your Instagram More Engaging
Have you tried the Unicorn Frappuccino from Starbucks? What do you think about it? Let us know in the comments below!