To some very dedicated Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) fans, fall is all about the annual return of their beloved beverage. But for many others, the PSL has become white noise in a world awash in pumpkin spice products.
We had to re-launch our seasonal beverage in a way that would reclaim the PSL's place as the ORIGINAL and most beloved of all pumpkin spice products. As well, we had to surprise and delight our hardcore PSL fanatics with something surprising.
We had three goals:
1. Create a new and innovative PSL reveal moment for 2017 with broad reach and fanatic appeal.
2. Drive engagement and excitement in advance of the arrival of PSL.
3. Earn coverage with a newsworthy event/moment, and compete with all the other pumpkin spice products being launched almost daily.
Creating something as original and popular as Pumpkin Spice, we were the victim of our own success. And when the original is being copied, whether it's a Superhero or a beverage, one of the best ways to reclaim your place at the top is to go back to the beginning. In other words, it was time for our own ORIGIN STORY. It was time to tell the world how the Pumpkin Spice Latte was born.
And so we did.
We decided to produce a 24/7 "behind-the-scenes" livestream of the first PSL of the season "hatching", from its home at Starbucks HQ. A 100 hour nonstop Facebook Live of a pumpkin in a patch. With friends. And puppies. And kittens. And as much fun and celebration that we could possibly throw into a pumpkin patch.
Facebook Live was leveraged to take advantage of our sizeable community of existing FB fans, who could then share and promote the stream over the course of 4 days.
The Great PSL Hatch performed well beyond our expectations.
- 8MM+ total video views
- 140% increase in conversation
- 220k viral actions (viral actions = page likes, post shares, comments and reactions)
- Earned coverage in USA Today, Bustle, Elite Daily, Washington Post, & more
- Drove the Pumpkin Spice Latte's strongest launch week yet
The Great PSL Hatch also inspired our PSL fanatics (AKA "Pumpkinheads") to create their own FB group called "Pumpkin Watch 2017" where they discussed theories and Easter eggs they spotted in the livestream. The group is still active.