Drag Queens Help Give Starbucks Canada’s Social Media a Jolt

tzimmerm    November 6, 2014

Organization Name: Starbucks Canada



Industry: Food, Beverage, Retail

Web References: Starbucks Canada

Description of How Social Media is Used for Business Performance:

Starbucks Canada has had a major viral video hit this past week. The video ad campaign was upload to OUTtv’s – a popular Canada LGBT TV channel – youtube channel which had over 210,000 views in one day and at press time was averaging 10,000 views per hour.

Brad Danks, the chief operating officer of OUTtv pitched the idea to Starbucks to film during WorldPride 2014 in Toronto since he knew two Drag Queens – Delano who has over 92,000 followers on Twitter  and Del Rio who has over 97,000 followers – would be in town.

Producing with a large cable channel allowed Starbucks Canada to access the large social media following of its stars along with targeted access to the LGBT community. Working with drag demonstrates that Starbucks Canada wants to be part of their community.

“When you do something with drag, you’re making a really strong statement,” said Danks. “You’re pretty clear about what you’re saying and who you’re speaking to when you use drag performers.”

Through Starbucks Canada’s ongoing diversity measures the ad will help create long term loyalty in a niche market.

“The community is really sensitive to brands that communicate to it directly and state: ‘You’re important to us,’ ” Danks said. “That resonates and goes a long, long way in this community.”

The key successes Starbucks has and will continue to see from this campaign:

– First mover advantage of accessing a generally untapped market

– Increased awareness of Starbuck’s Canada diversity efforts

– Increase customer loyalty in the LGBT community

– Increased access to larger social media audience – partnership with OutTV

Lessons for Others:

– Social media is a great way to reach niche target audiences

– Don’t be afraid to partner with traditional advertising channels to increase reach or gain access to new markets

– ROI is not always the most important social media metric, customer loyalty and brand awareness must also be considered

– Ensure social media campaigns are aligned with company goals

– Sometimes specific, niche social media campaigns can be just as effective as large global campaigns

Other Resources:

Must-See Marketing of the Week

Drag queens help give Starbucks Canada video a jolt

OUTtv Youtube Channel

Submitted By: Tara Zimmerman – SMBP Student, University of Waterloo

To contact the author of this entry please email: tara.zimmerman1@gmail.com

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Programme Director, Social Media for Business Performance.