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Interactive Annual 17:

Starbucks Love Project

Launch Live Site

“The emotion and execution really made this project stand out. When you can have 156 countries join in, you’re doing something right.”
—Oscar Llarena

“Deserves merit for its ability to get people around the world interacting with the brand.” —Jared Benson

Overview: During the holiday season, consumers are jaded by the glut of shallow and meaningless marketing tactics from corporations. Starbucks stood out from the clutter with this multimedia campaign that raised awareness and donations for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS in Africa. On December 7, 2009, musicians in 156 countries sang “All You Need Is Love” at exactly the same time. The performances were streamed onto screens at an event and broadcast live at and a video featuring all the performances was posted on YouTube. The entire Internet audience was encouraged to get involved in multiple visitor-participation options, each resulting in a donation from Starbucks, including participating in the worldwide sing-along and contributing to a crowdsourced tapestry of Love Drawings.

  • • This project, along with Starbuck’s holiday promotion, helped generate enough money to buy more than seven million daily doses of medicine for people living with HIV in Africa.
  • • The event set a new Guinness World Records for “Most Nations in an Online Sing-along.”
  • • The average time spent on the site on December 7 was 5:49 minutes; total site visits are over 1 million; more than 19,000 Love Drawings have been submitted; and people from 99 countries have submitted videos.

Comments by Dustin Callif/Linda Honan/Brian DiLorenzo

How did this project compare with others you’ve worked on in the past? “We were humbled and gratified to see people from countries easily overlooked, or logistically impossible to reach, so excited to participate. It’s when we really felt we had hit on something authentic and genuine; we could see the excitement flow into the comments on YouTube, as people shouted out their contributions. After all the technical challenges, it was thrilling to see the human connection work so amazingly well. It was incredibly brave of Starbucks to commit to something that hadn’t been done before—and live to boot.”

Were there any specific demands that made the project easier or harder? “Chris Palmer, literally directed ’the world’ from one location in the U.K. Mere days before the sing-along, every backdrop and musician was cast via the Web and assembled jigsaw-puzzle style according to the voice and instrumentation needs of the larger song. If someone or some location became suddenly unavailable (which happened more than once), it required a complete rethink. The team put a lot of faith into the talent and passions of the participants, who arrived hours before the event (in many locations, in the middle of the night) for streaming tests.”

What was the most challenging aspect of the project? “The heart of the project is a video wall featuring people from all over the world singing the chorus to ’All You Need Is Love.’ The big challenge was designing a visually engaging reveal for all of these videos that would not be cpu-intensive. Rather than creating one more visually static and memory intensive wall, we created hundreds of individual walls. Spreading the items out not only made it ‘processor-friendly’ but more dynamic.”


Alex Shulhafer, art director
Kara Goodrich/Kim Mok, interactive writers
Rob Seale, interactive designer
Arturo Aranda, interactive creative director
David Carter/Linda Honan, group creative directors
David Lubars, chief creative officer
Brian DiLorenzo, director of integrated production
Aaron Koblin, Tool of North America, interactive technical director
Chris Palmer, Gorgeous Enterprises, director
Jesse Brihn, agency producer
Andy Bhatt/Sumeera Rasul, interactive producers
Rani Vaz, agency music producer
Dustin Callif, Tool of North America, executive digital producer
Brian Latt, Tool of North America/Paul Rothwell, Gorgeous Enterprises/ Jennifer Siegel, Tool of North America/Rupert Smythe, Gorgeous Enterprises, executive producers
The Quarry, editorial company
Gorgeous Enterprises/Tool of North America, production companies
Search Party Music, music company
BBDO New York (New York, NY), project design and development/ad agency
Starbucks and (RED), client

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