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Starbucks features same-sex couple in new seasonal cups advert

Starbucks features same-sex couple in new seasonal cups advert

The new Starbucks seasonal cups

Starbucks features a same-sex couple holding hands in a promo film for its new ‘Give Good’ holidays campaign.

Every year the coffee giant unveils its seasonal cups. In recent years it has often faced criticism for its cups. Some evangelical Christians complain the cups are not Christian enough for Christmas.

Those complainers are likely to not embrace the brand’s latest campaign. The animated clip begins with the simple, surely unequivocal message: ‘The holidays means something different to everyone’.

It then features people connecting – via online chat, exchanging presents, decorating a tree, or just sharing a cup of coffee. The latter point is demonstrated by a female couple. They cup hands and look directly into each others eyes.

It ends by stating, ‘This season, the cup is just the beginning. How you make it special is up to you.’

‘A symbol of connection, love and giving joy’

This is the 20th year of Starbucks producing its seasonal cups.

‘I liked the idea of hands as the centering point, a symbol of connection, love and giving joy,’ says this year’s illustrator, Jordan Kay, of the Starbucks Creative Studio, in a statement.

‘Whether it’s wrapping presents or decorating a tree, writing cards or enjoying a mug of cocoa.’

© Jordan Kay/Starbucks
© Jordan Kay/Starbucks Jordan Kay/Starbucks

This year’s seasonal cups feature plenty of white space and users are encouraged to color them (ideally when they’re not full of hot liquid!)

Again, the illustrations on the cups feature plenty of hand-holding, ‘as an ode to years’ past,’ according to Executive Creative Director Leanne Fremar.

‘This year’s cup is intentionally designed to encourage our customers to add their own color and illustrations,’ said Fremar in a statement. ‘We love the idea of everyone making this year’s cup their own.’

Starbucks support of LGBTI rights

Although the female couple in the advert are suggestive of same-sex love rather than explicit, the coffee chain has a history of supporting LGBTI rights.

It regularly flies the rainbow flag above its Seattle headquarters to coincide with the city’s annual Pride festival and is a financial supporter of other Pride festivals around the world, including Pride in London.

It has consistently scored the top mark of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index: a ranking of Fortune 500 companies according to their LGBT-friendly policies and practices.

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Starbucks joins program to offer safe haven to LGBT people from hate crime