Starbucks appoints We Are Social as EMEA strategic and creative agency
Starbucks has appointed We Are Social as its EMEA strategic and creative agency following a competitive pitch.
The process kicked off in July through Creativebrief and the win marks the end of a five-year relationship with Iris.
We Are Social will now begin its three-year contract, which will see Socialize, acquired by We Are Social in 2018, handle the Middle East delivery.
“World class iconic brands don’t get any bigger than Starbucks so we are naturally thrilled to start this relationship,” Jim Coleman, UK chief executive at We Are Social, explained.
The socially led creative agency will focus on driving growth with Gen Z and millennial audiences through a “social-first, hyper-localised, culturally relevant creative strategy”.
Coleman added: “Their ambition to engage directly with a Gen Z audience represents the sort of fresh thinking modern brands need to take to remain relevant today.
“There was an immediate chemistry and connection with the Starbucks team, who shared the same ambition of putting cultural insights at the heart of the strategy.”
Sarah Harris, marketing director, EMEA at Starbucks, said: “We Are Social have demonstrated their expertise and enthusiasm when it comes to connecting with Gen Z and millennial audiences and we are incredibly excited to begin this new journey together.”
“The opportunity to strategically and creatively steward such an iconic brand as Starbucks across EMEA is massive. We are excited to be a part of this and work alongside the teams at We Are Social to deliver fast-moving local cultural insights & socially-led creativity, at regional scale,” said Akanksha Goel, founder and CEO, Socialize, who will handle the Middle East delivery as a part of We Are Social.
In August, Iris told Campaign UK it would not be working with Starbucks moving forward and released its last campaign for the coffeehouse brand “Every table has a story”.
The 60-second spot took inspiration from flexible working and told the story of a young woman working from a Starbucks as she tries to start her own creative business.
Iris also produced the “What’s your name” ad in 2020, which depicted a young trans man trialling his new name during his Starbucks order.
Amy Bryson, CMO and managing partner at Iris, said: “In five years, we’ve completely reshaped the EMEA marketing operations at Starbucks, and delivered over 25 campaigns across 40 markets, including the culture-shaping, Cannes Gold Lion Award winning ‘What’s your name’.
“Working together with Starbucks we’ve won 21 awards for that campaign alone; driving change, moving society on and creating an environment where it is safe for their customers to be their true selves.
“We’re incredibly proud of our partnership and the work we’ve created and look forward to using our understanding of the category with other bold and brave brands.”
A version of this first appeared on Campaign UK