Agency: Merkle
Client: Starbucks / Market: United States, Canada

Starbucks wanted to celebrate their brand mission “to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time” during Earth Month in the United States. They set out to spark joy and enthusiasm around environmental issues by engaging customers with a customised game.

Merkle, a dentsu company, partnered with them to create the Starbucks Earth Month Game for mobile devices. The goal was to educate their Rewards members on the brand’s commitment to sustainability and to increase engagement. The game includes a puzzle with weekly activities to challenge members to learn more about sustainability.

Every time a player passes a level, they earn a vote for where they’d like Starbucks to donate their 250,000 trees to a charity that supports reforestation globally. The game also offered sustainable prizes such as an electric bicycle, a reusable coffee cup or a vegetarian food item. The game also highlighted the Starbucks FoodShare programme, which packages unsold food from their stores, delivering meals to non-profit organisations around the United States.

The first-of-its-kind app for Starbucks Rewards members encouraged sustainable behaviours by letting gamers play, learn and earn. The app raised awareness around issues such as biodiversity, reforestation, clean water and climate stability, and engagement soared as more than 2.5 million sustainable prizes were given away.