Starbucks Video Sparkles; Does the Appeal?

Changing consumer behavior is tough. Especially if you helped to engrain it.

That’s the communications challenge that Starbucks faces in trying to get customers to switch from paper cups to reusable travel mugs.

The company’s lead appeal—“one person can save trees, together we can save forests”—is brilliantly articulated in the video above, and superbly placed on the front page of NYTimes.com this morning.

Sounds great. But I wonder: Does “save a tree” really resonate anymore, especially when it comes at the high price of carrying around a dorky and cumbersome travel cup?

Something tells me, no. Especially since I can save a tree—and reduce my carbon footprint—by brewing my own coffee, rather than idling in line at the Starbucks’ drive-thru this morning.

I wonder if “Enjoy More. Waste Less.” would be a more effective strategy.

That same yin/yang of guilt and pride is helping to convert bottled water drinkers to tap—and paper and plastic toters to shopping bags.