Back in 2006, Starbucks Brewing Company landed in a lot of hot water, and I'm not talking about the water that's forced through their expresso makers. No, I'm talking about the lakes of fire, eternal damnation, kind of hot water.
To celebrate their 35th anniversay, they thought they would redesign their logo and use it on a special "limited" edition cup. According to sources in the company, they wanted to bring back one of the original logo redesigns which would feature a more detailed illustration of the mermaid in the center of the logo. A what, a mermaid? Yeah, you know like Ariel.
Unless you were a real "febru" did you know that the current logo also features the mermaid, it's just that it has less detail. Seriously you'd have needed to know the histriva of the company to know that. Don't believe me? Then you'll need to check the previous post, about our new map of Starbucks in Puerto Rico, to see for yourself.
Well the trouble started when they conducted a limited release of the new cups. Reaction was almost immediate when one Washington state school district banned the Starbucks coffee cups during the limited-time offer -- unless students concealed the creature's breasts with a cupholder. Screeecccch! Imagine the sound of screeching tires trying to stop. What a minute, did he just say breasts?
As you can barely see in this photograph of one of the cups, the logo does indeed have an illustration of a double tailed mermaid with a little more detail, and a couple of dots for nipples. What a shocking display of outright pornography, right?
Well now in 2008, they wanted to re-issue the limited edition cups, but they wanted to avoid the previous problems, so they decided to clean-up the logo design. So they extended the mermaid's hair so it covered up the dirty parts. No more nipples, but you can barely make out that the mermaid, does indeed, have breasts.
Well, now Starbucks has been attacked by a extremist religious organization that took issue with what they saw as sexual connotations in the new logo. Yeah, I can really see some 13 year boy whacking off to that cartoonish drawing of a mermaid.
When asked about the new logo, a former VP-global creative at Starbucks responded: "Are you kiddin' me? This is a mythological creature, we wanted to be invisible. We wanted the conversation to be about coffee, not about anatomy."
Just goes to show you the power of successful graphic design. But, it also, and I'm just saying, may illustrate the power of someone else. And you know who I'm talking about, Mr. Big himself, God. You see, ever since 2006, Starbucks stock price has been on such a slide you'd think they were on skis. Since that time the stock has dropped from $37,93, to as low as $15.86 last week. And according to the most recent announcement from the company, their problems continue as they missed their second quarter earnings, and will lower their estimate for the year.
When asked about the current results, Howard Schultz, chairman, president and CEO of Starbucks said,
"The current economic environment is the weakest in our company's history, marked by lower home values, and rising costs for energy, food and other products that are directly impacting our customers."Sure that sounds convincing right, but we all know that it's the Big Guy exacting his revenge on the profanity that graces their limited edition cups that were only available in the Northwest of the United States. Yeah it's probably that and not that people are tired of paying $5,00 for a cup of coffee that you can get for $0.75 else where.