Starbucks: sound the sirens!

Been surfing around looking for some some prior art for this, but the closest I came was this story and it’s got nothing to do with what I noticed about the Starbucks logo today – for the first time, after being a reasonably regular Latte-slurper since 1998. Here goes….

Surely it can’t just be me who’s noticed that on the Starbucks logo, the Mermaid appears to be grabbing her twin tails and holding them apart in the least ambiguous of chat-up lines imaginable?

The origins of the logo have been explored – many thanks to the Dead Programmer for his logo scan – but his blog concentrates on the disappearing boobs, not the fishy pleasures to be found further south. Only a passing mention is made of the apparent porn star pose – he even wonders what ‘those things to the side of the siren’s head are.’ Well, they’re obviously her arms, and they’re grabbing the tails in a come-and-get-it-boys kind of way.

I mean, if the green roundel was just a bit lower, the dubious pleasures of her aquatic party zone would be on full display. (An older logo does show the full mermaid, but anatomical embarassments have been stylised out.) As a marketing guy who once had an ad featuring a bald guy rejected because ‘our buyers aren’t bald’ (hey, my art director was off sick and I can’t draw hair!) I know precisely how many eyes a new logo has to pass under – and I can’t believe something like this was missed. It must be deliberate.

Howard Schultz, shame on you. Actually, congratulations – doing that in the puritanical USA is an excellent jape – but I’m not sure it creates the right image of freshly harvested, wholesomely roasted, and above all dry coffee beans from around the world. I’ll never look at a skinny latte in the same way again.

I dunno. Piscean porn poses, salty wantonness, and forcing seaweedy sex on any random male who merely appreciated a good tune. That’s supposed to make me want to drink coffee? New Starbucks slogan: “It sure gets the taste out of your mouth.”

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