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Starbucks Launches Vet, Spouse Campaign to 'Ask Better Questions'

A new Starbucks marketing campaign aims to highlight the company's military veteran and spouse workforce while increasing understanding between military and civilian communities, a Starbucks official said. 

The campaign, launched today, features a 30 second and 60 second TV and digital spot as well as an online ad component on a variety of major sites, including Military.com. The TV spot will be featured for three weeks across major markets including during college football and NFL games. 

"This is really a larger topic of veterans and military spouses still being misunderstood," said Matt Kress, who manages veteran and military affairs for the company. "Most of America doesn’t have the same connection to the military. That results in people either not asking questions or asking the bad questions. The commercial campaign starts with that topic -- how to get to know veterans and military topics through better questions and how that leads to better understanding."

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Starbucks early this year announced a plan to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses by 2025 after meeting their initial goal of 10,000 such hires 18 months before originally planned. The company also opened "military family stores" across the country which focus on veteran and spouse hiring and community connection. Veteran and milspouse employees at those stores, known as "partners" in Starbucks-speak, are identified through customized aprons that note whether or not they are a veteran or a military spouse and their military branch affiliation.

Kress said the corporation wants to continue the conversation of understanding who vets and spouses are and why they are worth hiring as what they see as a public service. But he says they believe doing so will continue to highlight Starbucks' commitment to military families. 

"Tangentially Starbucks would be recognized for ongoing commitment and dedication to veterans and military families but that’s not a driver by any means," he said. "We're hoping that a lot of partners, influencers and other gets engaged. We don’t see this as a Starbucks branding moment." 

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