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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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‘Tis the Starbucks season

Starbucks’ new holiday cup with “Give Good” sleeve (Photo by Alyssa Thompson ’19).

Starbucks spreads the love with new holiday cups.

The first thing Meg Ginsberg ’18 noticed about her Starbucks holiday cup was the red cup sleeve with bold white capital letters spelling “Give Good.”

“It’s the time of year to give, and they’re also giving us a good product, so I feel like the message behind ‘Give Good,’ is a combination of the two,” said Ginsberg, an avid Starbucks drinker.

This year’s holiday cup is white with the occasional smattering of green and red, and features black-inked illustrations reminiscent of coloring books. A total of six holiday-themed sketches are available, including two hands holding red cups, a Christmas tree, doves, snowflakes, ornaments and present boxes.

Alli, a spokesperson for Starbucks who declined to give her last name, explained  the phrase on the cup sleeves echoes the company’s holiday campaign theme. 

“The idea is to encourage goodness throughout the holiday season,” Alli said. “All goodness counts from small gestures such as opening the door for a stranger, or recognizing the people who enrich your life, to volunteering in the community.”

For the past two years, Starbucks’ holiday cups have brewed controversy. In 2015, there were no holiday illustrations on the red cup, leading some people to charge the company with being anti-Christmas. In 2016, the company ditched red altogether with a green cup featuring a mosaic of over a hundred faces. But when customers again protested, the company quickly followed up with a clearly Christmas-inspired cup.

Diane Phillips, Ph.D., professor of marketing, said Starbucks should stick to creating cups that stand out and ignore the inevitable backlash.

“Some religious alt-right fundamentalists even went so far as to claim that there were hidden Satanic symbols on the cups and that Starbucks hated Jesus,” Phillips said.

The design of the 2017 cup is meant to spark creativity and, according to Alli, to encourage customers to add their own color and illustrations. So far, there haven’t been any media blowouts over this cup.

Megan Gentleman ’20 thinks the latest holiday cup evokes nothing but positive energy.

“I think they’re just trying to spread love,” Gentleman said.

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