Starbucks: The Controversial Inclusive Commercial

Suhana Parvin
Suhana Parvin

Prepare to be swept away into a digital whirlwind of lively debate when Starbucks launches its newest advertising. Dominating the spotlight and delivering an outpouring of praise and ferocious condemnation throughout social media. A transsexual woman rekindles her relationship with her separated family in a coffee shop in the newly popular two-minute commercial. As the mother begs the father to refrain from getting upset during their meeting, the mood is initially tense.

The Controversial Starbucks Inclusive Commercial

In the commercial, a transgender woman meets up with her long-lost father in a busy Starbucks location. A woman by the name of Arpit, who has been designated by Arpita, enjoys spending time with her mother, who also joins her at a Starbucks location. Her father, though, is still having trouble accepting her new persona. The parents can be seen in the advertisement waiting impatiently at Starbucks. While evidently uneasy, the father calls Arpita at the number that is still saved as “Arpit.” Finally, Arpita enters and gives her parents an affectionate embrace. Then, her father goes to the café counter to place their coffee order.

This grasping moment shows her father’s acceptance as he decides to follow Starbucks’ beloved custom and write “Arpita” as the name on the coffee cup. “Beta, you will always be my child. Your name has gained just one letter, the father assures her. Starbucks India posts on Twitter a meassage saying your identity defines who you are – be it Arpit or Arpita. It’s a message of inclusion and love. At Starbucks, you are appreciated and accepted for who you are. Because being who you are is everything to us,” with the added hashtag #ItStartsWithYourName.

Reactions to Starbucks’ Message of Acceptance

While many people praised the commercials for its endeavours to promote inclusion and acceptance, it also drew vehement criticism from those who believed Starbucks was advancing a political agenda. Some people demanded a boycott of the well-known coffee business because they felt the advertisement violated their moral and religious principles. Some people said that Starbucks should stay unbiased on social and political concerns, while others claimed that the firm was prioritising a certain ideology over the needs of its customers.

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India has a long history with transgender rights. Despite the backlash mirroring identical disputes in other nations, such as the United States, where beer manufacturer Bud Light faced a boycott over a beer can featuring a transgender actress. Brands nowadays must navigate perilous waters when it comes to taking a position on social and political issues. Because of heightened polarisation and a widening gap in public opinion. Others think that corporations should concentrate only on their products and services. Avoiding potential issues that could alienate portions of their customer base. Some contend that businesses have a duty to use their influence for good change.

Starbucks has undeniably turned into a talking point for social issues because of its global brand recognition. It is yet unclear how the coffee juggernaut will react to the uproar around this specific commercial and whether it will be able to weather the storm undamaged.

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