Starbucks is hopping on the “rainbow food” trend with their new limited edition “Unicorn Frappuccino.” It’s a fun, colorful drink that is smothered in sprinkles and only available from April 19 to April 23. Though, what is supposed to be a cute, springtime treat is spurring a lot of controversy. So to all those who are complaining about it, I say: stop whining.
Although the whole premise of the drink is that it’s supposed to be photographed and shared on Instagram, people are shocked – as if that hasn’t been the marketing strategy for Starbucks since the invention of Instagram. From the moment sharing photos of food on social media became popular, Starbucks drinks have been at the forefront. Every time they have released any new product – be it a drink, a cup, a cookie or whatever – they have all been designed to be “social media worthy.”
Starbucks knows that a good number of their customers pay a ridiculous amount of money for their products, not because they taste good, but because they are aesthetically pleasing. No company goes out of its way to create a rainbow colored product without the intention of it being shared all over social media (see: the rainbow bagel, rainbow highlighter, rainbow pizza, rainbow pancakes, etc.). It gets people talking about your brand and is free advertising, while causing no harm and giving people a fun thing to share with their friends.
If you don’t want to try the drink, you don’t have to. It will be gone within a few days, so just let people have their fun.
But it’s not just consumers complaining, the employees of Starbucks themselves are saying the drink is too hard to make or it’s annoying to make them. To them I also say: get over it. No job is a walk in the park, no job is always going to be easy and there are going to be aspects of every job that everyone hates, but I feel like Starbucks baristas practically take the job only so that they can complain about it. News flash: all customer service jobs are the worst.
Take this example: I used to work for a store that sold party décor. That meant that I would have to inflate balloons with helium on a regular basis. I dreaded every single holiday season. This was because on days where people typically purchased a lot of balloons (Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, birthdays, graduations, etc.) I would leave work with bleeding, chafed fingers. I used to tie latex balloons and curl ribbons so often that sometimes my entire hand would be visibly swollen to the point where I couldn’t make a fist. I hated every minute of it and I eventually left that job, but I never took to my Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or any other form of social media to urge people to stop buying balloons. Instead, I realized that it was part of the job I elected to take and that I had to suck it up and do it if I expected to get paid.
When you accept a job, you accept all the responsibilities of that job, and I’m sorry but I don’t have any sympathy for people who take to the internet to beg people to stop ordering a product because it stains their hands pink.
Here’s the bottom line: if you’re talking about the “Unicorn Frappuccino,” whether you love it or hate it, you’re feeding into Starbucks’ marketing scheme anyway. You are giving them all the free publicity they could ask for without even having to spend more money on advertising the drink. People (mostly people under the age of 14) are still going to buy this blended “Care Bear” drink and post it all over your social media feeds. It will pass and everyone will get over it, but soon enough Starbucks will release another “Instagram-worthy” item that’ll spark the exact same conversation, so it’s best to get over it now.
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