Starbucks "Art of Espresso" Broadcast and Social Campaign
The Art of Espresso
My best work, the work I’m proudest of and that excites me most, is when I’m focused on the ingredient and the process. When I’m focused on the craft itself.
The genuine artistry in this national Starbucks “Art of Espresso” campaign-- two :15 spots featuring the Cold Foam Cold Brew and the Blonde Flat White--is that it reveals more than just the finished masterpiece. This campaign that’s airing now elevates the craft that the barista brings to each drink.
We walked a fine line between two worlds. Classic tabletop beverage footage versus a more editorial perspective that incorporated non-traditional angles and compositions to capture the emotion of espresso as art.
Just as painters will never paint the same painting twice, baristas--the baristas that are truly dedicated to their craft--will never design two drinks exactly the same way.
I conveyed the idea that from the grind and the drip to the perfect pencil pour, each drink is a product of the care and quality that defines Starbucks. Each perfectly-crafted cup is its own short story.
Capturing A Love Affair with Coffee
It’s no surprise that the audience for this campaign is unabashedly proud of its love affair with coffee. They love the ritual. They love to banter with their baristas. They love that their espresso is more than just sustenance or a quick jolt or some mundane routine like swiping their keycard or merging into the commute chute. Instead, they cradle their cup with both hands or savor each cool sip. They take note of the artwork in the foam. They crave the intimate moments their espresso provides and the space in their community where their local Starbucks lives.
That’s why this audience cares about the origin story and the beauty of the bean; the temptation of the foam. This is an everyday luxury that is handcrafted by real people.
Espresso for them is art that’s attainable.
In this increasingly automated world, we still take great comfort in the fact that there’s a human behind our Starbucks espresso drinks. That’s how I wanted this to feel visually. Each frame featured a nuance--an authentic imperfection--that struck at the heart of what makes it so beautiful. It cannot be easily repeated because an artist created it.
Each Story Was A Bold Visual Poem
As the director, I approached each story as a bold visual poem.
Our team created a sense of anticipation and mystery. Each drink had a specific texture, temperature and quality that cued the anticipation of a unique experience to come.
Artful, moody, and mysterious, our visual aesthetic evoked a world of coffee in vibrant color. Browns, whites, and soft grays referenced the drinks themselves and built appetizing worlds. Warmer colors fade to the cooler tones to evoke mixing routines and smooth, subtle transitions.
I toggled between super close up macro shots that provide intimate details with medium and wide shots that created context.
The camera was always moving and providing new transitions and positions, so that the viewer was always compelled to follow the story from one shot to the next.
This approach sparked curiosity and created story. These rhythms kept the audience engaged, while also highlighted the sensation and visual satisfaction of each drink.