• About Tom Dougherty

    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

    An often-quoted source on business and brands, he has been featured recently by the New York Times and CNN, discussing topics ranging from television to Apple to airlines.

    Tom also regularly speaks at conferences as a keynote and break-out speaker. To find out more on inviting him to your speaking engagement and view a video of him speaking, click here.

    You can also reach him via email attomd@stealingshare.com.

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The elegance of Starbucks Flat White

For the first time in a long time, I’ve been moved by a TV commercial and it came from a surprising source.

No, it wasn’t one of the many tear-jerker Super Bowl ads from this year. (I was waiting for a Sarah McLachlan tune to throw the winning blow, weren’t you?)

Rather, the spot came out a few weeks before. It’s for the Starbucks Flat White drink.

This is a melding of everything you’d want as a coffee drinker. The theme of being an “expertly crafted” cup of coffee is clear. The entire story is about the detailed craftsmanship that goes into the creation of each cup. It speaks to an elegance that’s been missing from the Starbucks brand lately, and it holds Starbucks in the leadership position it has been losing.

Close-ups of steeping shots of ristretto (which gives a more powerful taste than a latte), and milk steamed to a frothy perfection by an artisan barista are nothing short of grand. The finishing crema and milky foam are a suave addition to the drink too.

Even for the coffee enthusiast like myself, who has often complained that Starbucks baristas haven’t perfected micro bubble froth, I was pleasantly surprised by its precision in the ad.

The big test for me  is whether or not the ad changes my purchasing habits. Does it have the ability to make me to covet what’s being sold? As my guru Tom Ong once told me, “You can love a painting of a cafe, but great advertising makes you want to eat at that cafe, not just look at it.”

The Flat White did just that for me. The day after I saw the commercial, I was in a Starbucks waiting to have my first. And I returned again the next day.

Guess you could say the advertising worked.

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