12 days of PR: Purple, Red and Blue, the New Colours of Christmas?

Written by: Jocelyn Lubczuk

Edited by: Pina Capuano

The crisp smell of snow is in the air, holiday music is everywhere you turn, shoppers are running too and frow with packages and… lattés in their hands? Flavored lattés are making a return this holiday season!

With the return of the cold comes the public need to stay warm and comfortable both inside and out. Popular coffee shops, such as Starbucks, Tim Hortons, and Second Cup aim to not only warm people up, but to sell customers a holiday experience.

Branding themselves with a Christmas story is a popular way in which companies attract customers. Their tactics? Simple.

 They pick traditional Christmas favourites: Eggnog, ginger bread, and candy canes. They only make their debut once a year to become feature flavors and make you feel like you’re in a winter wonderland. By aligning themselves with these popular holiday flavors, they aim for customers to create lasting memories, with their products and drinks.

“When the cups turn red at Starbucks, that’s one of the first cues that the holidays are upon us. The emotional connection that our store partners (employees) have when they open that first box of the red cups and start using them that first day, and the emotional connection they see from their customers, that’s what we strive for. They see that surprise and excitement: ‘Oh, the red cups are at Starbucks!’ It’s really special and all of us in the studio feel privileged to do the work that can create such an emotional moment and connection in our stores between our partners and our customers.”

– Terry Davenport, SVP of Starbucks Global Brand and Creative Studios

However, it is rather interesting that these brands do not all adhere with the traditional Christmas colours, red and green. Popular colours used this year include baby and navy blue, burgundy and bright red. These unconventional holiday colours instead, are strategically crafted to play off the companies branding, all while maintaining the integrity of the holiday.

Starbucks, Tim Hortons, and Second Cup 2014 Holiday Designs

Starbucks, Tim Hortons, and Second Cup 2014 Holiday Designs

Take a peek at this year’s cup designs. Starbucks encourages customers to sparkle and shine, and their cup features the words saying “when we’re together, I know I’ll never fall” – which could possibly be a reference to the classic holiday song that goes “last Christmas I gave you my heart, but the very next day you gave it away.”

Second Cup features a baby blue black drop with a purple illustrated holiday village, giving drinkers the experience of being in a distant winter village. Adding to the cozy drinking experience, and making the customer excited about the holiday season.

And finally, Tim Hortons went for the literal warm and cozy design, as if the cup was wrapped in a knitted wool blanket it evokes a sense of comfort and warmth amidst the cold winter weather.

These exclusive designs, and limited edition latté flavours are quite successful from a business perspective. Take a peek at the google trends graph pulled on December 7th.


Google Trends from Dec. 7, 2014.

The circled peaks represent December, when these drinks are featured in stores. It is clear that these branding techniques are highly successful and add to the holiday season by offering a festive memories and unique experiences to their customers.

We want to know, what is your favourite holiday latté and why? Tell us below in the comment section!

One thought on “12 days of PR: Purple, Red and Blue, the New Colours of Christmas?

  1. Tims is my favorite. It really is a warm design and looks very realistic. It is not specific to Christmas but to a cold winter.

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