Welp, things have apparently gotten so toxic in this country leading up to the election that Starbucks has decided to take matters into its own proverbial hands and try to bring everyone together around a simple paper cup. The new Starbucks "unity" cup is here for Election Day, and let's face it, as ugly as things have gotten, it couldn't really hurt.
Howard Schultz, Starbucks' CEO, has tried to make social statements like this before, with mixed results. But when it comes to the hard feelings people have developed over this election, any reminder that we're still on the same team seems useful. How many of those Starbucks cups do you see on a given day? Almost as many as political ads running on an endless TV loop.
Schultz said right now is “a divisive time in our country,” and that the green unity cup is meant to serve “as a reminder of our shared values," according to 7 News Boston.
The significance of the design on the green unity cup, according to Starbucks, is that it shows a group of 100 people all drawn by the artist, Shogo Ota, in a single line.
"The green cup and the design represent the connections Starbucks has as a community with its partners (employees) and customers," Schultz said, according to a statement from Starbucks.
Schultz and Starbucks have thrown their marketing behind national social messages before. In 2015, Starbucks baristas started writing "Race Together" on cups in an effort to start a national dialogue about race relations. Not surprisingly, no one wanted to debate race in the Starbucks line before they've had coffee, and the whole thing was pretty much a flop, according to Eater.
But this is different. Between locker room talk and Wikileaks, the country is pretty clearly suffering from a fatigue brought on by more than a year of relentless, vicious campaigning. Maybe a cornball idea of unity and a nice warm cup of coffee is exactly what we all need in these final days leading up to Election Day on Nov. 8.
For those Starbucks junkies concerned the green unity cups were here to stay through the holidays: calm down. No really, it's a cup. But also, the red holiday cups are expected to be back by mid-November, according to Business Insider.
Here are a few folks who took to Twitter to panic about the fact that they wouldn't be getting the correct cup over the holidays. This lady thinks the green cup is "pathetic."
Why do people care about this?
Here's more on the artist behind the new Starbucks "unity" cup design, Shogo Ota:
We could all use a little more unity in our lives. Let's take it where we can get it.