The Plain Red Starbucks Cup
By James Lancy
It’s quite sad that in this day and age, people can get so easily offended by something as simple as a vessel from which one can partake of liquids. Yes, I’m talking about the plain red coffee cup from Starbucks. On November 5, former televangelist Josh Feuerstein took to YouTube with his usual less than stellar filming skills to complain about how the design-less Starbucks holiday cup was the company’s way of declaring “war on Christmas”.
Really? A plain red cup with the green Starbucks logo is that much of a danger to the Christian religion that Feuerstein has to start a “movement” against it. What’s next? A red Solo cup?
There are a few flaws in his “logic” that I can point out here. First is the sheer fact that a plain, design-less cup is any cause for concern. I could see if he was offended more by a Santa design (with how commercialized the icon has been in the past century or so) or by symbols of his and every other religion on earth in one place. I would certainly be glad that the company didn’t bombard me with all those symbols and forced me to be seen drinking from it. The second flaw in the logic is the timing of the outcry against the cup. It is November, people. More than a month away from the holiday season. I would much rather see some festive Thanksgiving designs on it of, say, a turkey among some pumpkins.
Starbucks promptly released a statement concerning the design of their holiday cups in a news article they posted on their website.
“We have anchored the design with the classic Starbucks holiday red that is bright and exciting,” said Jeffrey Fields, Starbucks vice president of Design & Content. “The ombré creates a distinctive dimension, fluidity and weightedness.”
And there’s a reason for this. In the very same article they explain why:
“Taking a cue from customers who have been doodling designs on cups for years (Starbucks held a contest to support this creativity), this year’s design is another way Starbucks is inviting customers to create their own stories with a red cup that mimics a blank canvas.”
Starbucks could offer a collection of white stickers to place on the cup for those who are disgruntled by the lack of holiday designs, or even separately sell a special marker that will show up easily when the cup is written on. People could also bring in a Sharpie if a plain red cup offends them that much. Maybe even one of those silver metallic paint pens.
In the meantime, I’m going to sip on the tea I bought from the store. Maybe even stop in to a Starbucks to happily buy a cup of joe in one of those plain red cups that Feuerstein fussed about.