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— –I know I am walking on thin ice here but I want to discuss Adbusters’ recent video campaign against Starbucks.  For those that are unfamiliar with Adbusters, they are a Canadian-based, not-for-profit global network of people who want to lead “the” new social activist movement of our time. They are also most notably known for proposing and aiding the explosion of the Occupy Wall Street Movement.


___In the above 40-second video, Adbusters take on the colossal Starbucks Coffee Company and urge viewers to think for a second and “Vow never to walk into a Starbucks ever again.” To me the actual video is misguided, irritating, and generally lacking in any real content. Adbusters starts off by jarring the viewer with an explosive snippet from Christian Bale’s infamous Terminator on-set freak out where he went ballistic on the film’s Director of Photography. The guy was moving in the background of the set while he was trying to act (he has since apologized and gone on to make Batman unforgettably awesome in the Dark Knight Rises.)

___Anyways, back to the anti-Starbucks coffee video… they use American indie, dance-punk-rock band Sleigh Bells for the background music, show images of defaced Starbucks logo signs, and footage of a Good Morning America segment discussing the ridiculous size of the Trenta (the colossal drink that actually has more liquid in it then supposedly your stomach can hold in one sitting.) I would argue all the evidence used indicates they are clearly pandering to their base, which one could surmise is a more anti-consumerist, anti-corporate takeover everything, younger demographic.

___The main reason I dislike this video and strategy in general is that the argument seems… misdirected or just COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE. This is most apparent to me in their use of a snap-shot of a brick wall where someone has spray painted, “You ruin our neighborhood, we ruin your wall.” To me this “tag,” is misguided and doesn’t really accomplish anything in the grand scheme of things. When you consider how many times someone actually tweets “#nostarbucks,” I guarantee its used far more in a way to express someone’s disdain when they don’t have Starbucks in their current possession. The video was uploaded to YouTube in January 2011, and obviously has not changed the current American perception of coffee in our local cities.

___Personally, I love local, family owned and operated establishments. They tend to offer a unique feel and typically support local musicians and artists. The Adbusters video doesn’t cut it for me because I think there are way more efficient ways to get a message of “support local coffee shops” then the current video contending the Trenta is fattening and that you are essentially a sheep if you buy drinks from Starbucks.

What’s your take on the video? Do you think a more successful message could have been advocated?

Thanks for stopping by Philosophical Swag! Stay tuned for more content all the time!