Students lined up at the Starbucks located in Cal State Fullertonâ€™s Mihaylo Hall on Monday to get a taste of Starbucksâ€™ new however-you-want-it Frappuccino that launched May 5 and is half-price through May 13.
The happy hour lasts from 3-5 p.m., and allows customers to choose their own coffee intensity, type of milk, syrup, whipped cream amount and topping. Previously, customers could choose among the Frappuccino flavors and customize their drinks only by selecting the â€œlightâ€ option or asking for no whipped cream or toppings.
According to a Starbucks spokesperson, the company has partnered with the Public Relations Student Society of America to host a student competition to launch the new beverages on and around college campuses.
According to the campaign brief, Starbucks will award $500 to the top team, $300 to the runner-up and $200 to the second runner-up. In addition, each team will receive up to $300 to reimburse the costs of implementing its campaign.
At CSUF, Titan Blend is the team of PRSSA members that is participating in the PRSSA/Starbucks campaign to launch the new Frappuccino. Christa Keizer, Karla Nieto and Jennifer Nguyen make up the three-member team of public relations majors at CSUF who are planning the events around the campaign.
â€œThis is not for academic credit. Weâ€™re doing this for the sheer hands-on experience,â€ said Nguyen, a junior public relations and sociology major. â€œIf we are recognized in the competition, it looks really great for CSUF, and we can say, â€˜Hey, Starbucks was our client!â€™ â€
Brittany Hoxie-Wiley, nursing sophomore and barista at the Starbucksâ€™ Mihaylo Hall location, said that usually the Starbucks Frappuccino consists of a pre-mixed base that was made up of non-fat milk and other ingredients.
â€œBut it was pretty fattening and there was no option of soy or customizing your drink,â€ said Hoxie-Wiley, adding that now consumers are allowed to customize their drinks any way they desire.
â€œThe line is a little longer than usual today, and the event has just started. We also have more people working today because of the event.â€ Hoxie-Wiley said.
Most students who lined up to partake of the offer seemed to prefer the Caramel Frappuccino, asking baristas to customize their drinks with mocha drizzles, shaved chocolate curls, toffee nut or peppermint syrups, or asking to add an additional shot of espresso or caramel.
Chris Khong, senior business major, commented on the launch of Starbucksâ€™ new however-you want-it Frappuccino.
â€œItâ€™s definitely bringing a lot more attention, but I think the campaign will attract more loyal customers rather than new ones,â€ Khong said.
Siddharth Godsay, who is pursuing his Masters in marketing at CSUF, said that in terms of marketing, these special events that qualify as sales promotions are just efforts to entice customers with reduced prices.
â€œStarbucks is generally expensive, but when new customers come in and try these promotional drinks, they sometimes get addicted to them and become repeat customers,â€ Godsay said. â€œThis is how consumer psychology works.â€
Team Titan Blend of the PRSSA will also be hosting an event on Tuesday at the Quad from noon-1 p.m., called â€œExpress your love,â€ where students will have the opportunity to express their love for the new Frappuccino on an â€œExpress your loveâ€ wall.
There will be a poetry recital by students that will allow them to express themselves before finals. A live jazz band from the college of arts will also play music to help students relax before their final exams.