Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Luxary is Part of Performance

This is a longer video than I would normally post but if you have 18 minutes to spare today, this is really an enjoyable presentation by Bryant Simon, Professor of History and Director of the American Studies Program at Temple University. The subject of the presentation is how the desires of daily life are revealed from the couches of Starbucks. It is driven by the speaker's premise of "what we drink has meaning." The presentation has a lot of insights into the culture as well as a lot of humorous slides about the pervasiveness of the brand.

And no, it is not a Starbucks commercial. In fact, it will probably give you some fodder to make fun of people like me who end up there about 5 times a week.

Some interesting points to tease you into making the time to watch this:

  • There is a Starbucks in the Forbidden City
  • 44 Million people a week go to Starbucks. Bryant discusses what these 44 million people actually do there.
  • He also tackles why people pay the premium for coffee and proposes three core themes: Functional, Emotional and Expressive. Not to give it all away but did you know that Starbuck's coffee is the most caffeinated coffee on the market? It has 2 times the caffeine of Folgers. So the first idea proposed is addiction.
Watch more. It's worth it.

The presentation is from a conference called the Taste3 conference, founded by Robert Mondavi and explores the relationship of wine, food and art.

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