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Oct 18, 2020

Explore cool activities while social distancing at Starbucks

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written by Radu L

Can safe be cool? Safe is the new cool!

Loved by millions around the world, Starbucks has always set a high bar when it comes to its customer experience. Every store has a uniquely fitting design, and baristas are on a first-name basis with many patrons. This is the brand which coined the term “Third Place” to describe its locations: somewhere you enjoy spending time that’s neither home nor work. Yet in the wake of a global pandemic in which safety is the top priority, its customer experience is challenged.

Could we find a better way to implement social distancing in their locations?

Tuio created the first campaign to rethink social distancing by connecting customers with things that bring them joy. The campaign “2m – SAFE is the new COOL”, consists of collection of six unconventional rectangle-shaped markers for social distancing. Forming a path inside Starbucks stores, starting from the entrance and going to the exit, each 2 meter rectangle (about 6ft) invites customers to do something fun – through both analog and digital experiences.

What experiences have we created (so far)?

While staying at a safe distance from one another, customers can do cool things like practicing tango dance steps, scrolling through a virtual gallery with urban art, testing out their math skills, enjoying a moment of mindfulness, and even winning instant prizes with an Instagram Effect (Augmented Reality). As we collect data from the digital we are also working on new experiences to keep returning customers engaged.

Campaign overivew:

Special Experience: #2metersOfPrizes

The campaign also leverages Augmented Reality via an Instagram Effect to create a digital promotion with instant prizes. The effect for Instagram can be activated by scanning the QR code on the promotional rectangle inside the coffee shops. If a customer publishes a Story to Instagram using the effect, they instantly receive prizes such as free toppings for their drink of choice.

Special Experience: #2metersOfArt

One of our special experiences is dedicated to urban art. A custom 2 meter long illustration by local artist Ghica Popa invites users to load a virtual gallery on their device by scanning a QR code. The gallery features previously unreleased works inspired by some of the artists favorite themes: Sci-fi movies of the 80’s and 90’s, robots and machines, and more. Fans of urban art will be able to discover this content only from within Starbucks locations.

Ghica Popa - 2m Safe is the New Cool - StarbucksCampaign Notes:

“The safety of our customers is our first mission. And while the pathway created by these 2m rectangles accomplishes this, the real challenge here was to also integrate the Starbucks spirit. This concept fits well, as it’s a mix of online and offline experiences which are unconventional and which can make social distancing an interesting and fun exercise. The proposal we adopted was praised by our colleagues in the UK, who are responsible for the EMEA region,” according to Maria Feer, Brand Manager @ Starbucks.

“Customer engagement is a key element in Starbucks’ market segment, for which the in-store experience is tremendously important. In our case, we wanted include a layer of creativity, even for the implementation of what is by every definition an in-store safety measure. The result is a less disruptive experience and we’ve even created an opportunity for new customer engagement for the brand.” – Ludwig Petre, Managing Director @ Tuio.

“Wherever you find yourself, social distancing often comes along with some discomforts. Masks, gloves, plexiglass – they’re constant reminders we can’t relax just yet. However, if the 2 meters normally just keep you separated, at Starbucks they will at least bring you closer to a few small new experiences which will make you smile. The creative pathway in the coffee shops is actually like a small gift for those who need a moment away from a new form of stress that pretty much took us all by surprise.” – Viorela Turcu, Deputy Creative Director @ Tuio.

The in-store activation is also supported by online communication, including social channels. Foto and video content can be seen on the official Starbucks Romania accounts on Facebook & Instagram. “2m – SAFE is the new COOL” is available in Starbucks locations across Romania, including Bucharest, Constanța, Cluj, Brașov and Timișoara up until the 15th of November 2020.