Starbucks Launches Holiday Campaign Featuring Cozy Same-Sex Couple

The ad invites patrons to create and color their own cup designs.

Folks who have boycotted Starbucks because its holiday cups weren’t Christmasy enough probably won't love the coffee chain’s new "Give Good" campaign.

Marking 20 years since Starbucks filled its first seasonal cup, the festive 2017 cup features swirling ribbons, holiday scenes, and a pair of hands holding red coffee 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. “Whether it’s wrapping presents or decorating a tree, writing cards or enjoying a mug of cocoa.”


“Giving good can be as small as someone opening the door for you, or recognizing the people that enrich your life—your child’s teacher, a caregiver, a family friend,” says Starbucks executive creative director Leanne Fremar of this year's theme. “The holidays are a time to celebrate all the good we give to each other and our community.”

The "Give Good" campaign's accompanying animated commercial, which begins with someone drawing, includes illustrated characters such as a female couple who hold hands over a mug and lean closer for a kiss. "The holidays mean something different to everyone," a caption reads.

The ad also invites caffeinated patrons to create their own unique designs by coloring in the cup's white space. Don't those red and green accents look desperate for company from the other colors of the rainbow?

“This year’s cup is intentionally designed to encourage our customers to add their own color and illustrations,” Fremar continues. “We love the idea of everyone making this year’s cup their own.”


"This season, the cup is just the beginning," the ad's final tagline reads. "How you make it special is up to you."

Starbucks has been vocal in its support of the LGBT community in the U.S., hoisting the rainbow flag over its Seattle headquarters every June, backing federal marriage equality, and inviting trans customers to use the restrooms that align with their gender identity.

The anti-gay National Organization for Marriage called for a boycott of Starbucks in 2014 after RuPaul’s Drag Race stars Bianca Del Rio and Adore Delano appeared in a Canadian commercial for the company. Starbucks branded its 97 Seattle locations as safe havens for LGBT victims of hate crimes the following year.

Watch the new Starbucks ad below.

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