Starbucks Proves Simple Copywriting Is Enough

Even though “hot girl summer” is just starting to wind down and the trees are still shimmering in the afternoon to show off their vibrant green hues — brands are already leaning heavily into fall and they are leaning in hard.  As a marketer who once solely specialized in all things Christmas, I am hyper aware of seasonal campaigns and their underlying creative and thematic tie-ins…which is why I’m so amused with Starbucks take on belief. 

Belief. Beleaf. Beleafer. Whether you love pumpkin spice lattes (famously known as PSLs) or think they taste like a dumpster fire  — Starbucks launching its fall line of drinks with “I Bealf It’s Fall” as its main theme is genius.

Why? Whatever you believe (or should I say beleaf in), Starbucks is meeting you there. From opinions on sweater weather, nods to astrology (I’m a Pisces rising, Leo rising, and Gemini moon — and yes, I’m serious about it), fall foliage, and the official start of fall being timed around their PSL launch — Starbucks cleverly merged punny and seasonal copy as the main feature of their 2019 launch.

In years past, campaigns have leaned heavily on creative images with screaming orange Pantone colors and over-the-top social media pushes (remember when Starbucks went as far as creating a Twitter handle for its beloved PSL?) — so the simplicity of this campaign feels like a breath of fresh air for the brand that has been known for doing too much to kick off its autumnal season. 

There is no room in consumer marketing to slow down, but brands don’t always have to pull out shiny new tricks to make a splash.  Starbucks utilizing crackerjack copywriting to wink at its seasonal offerings shows that sometimes marketing works best when brands go back to the basics.