In a brilliant move by the sales team at MSNBC, they sold a Starbucks Morning Joe coffee sponsorship for the network’s popular morning show, Morning Joe.
Starbucks Morning Joe: Product Placement On The Set
The Starbucks Morning Joe partnership makes a lot of sense. The hosts of “Morning Joe” all already drink Starbucks. Viewers have probably been wondering if Joe Scarborough‘s daily frappuccinos on the set were paid product placements anyway. Well, starting this month, they will be.
When asked about the coffee habits of Joe Scarborough and his co-host Mika Brzezinski, the president of MSNBC, Phil Griffin, joked, “We’ve been doing this for free for a couple of years.”
Howard Schultz, the chief executive of Starbucks, said in an interview that the deal indicated that “the rules of engagement in marketing and advertising have changed quite significantly.” He called it an opportunity to “align ourselves with, in my view, one of the smartest morning shows that air on TV.”
Mr. Schultz cited multiple connections between the Starbucks brand and “Morning Joe” viewers. For example, research shows that Morning Joe’s viewers are “sophisticated and upscale” just like the average Starbucks customer.
Can Even You Sponsor The News?
Sponsoring news content is a tricky thing to work out between news divisions and advertisers. There’s a fine line to walk. Starbucks won’t have any editorial power as part of its Starbucks Morning Joe sponsorship deal. The show also won’t be renamed to include the Starbucks name similar to how these sponsorships worked in the 1950s (i.e. the “Camel News Caravan” an NBC News series sponsored by the cigarette manufacturer).
But what happens if Starbucks is caught up in a negative news story? Mr. Griffin said, “Morning Joe” would still cover the story as a news item. In reference to Starbucks, Griffin added “They understand that we have standards.”
What’s Included In The Starbucks Morning Joe Sponsorship On MSNBC?
Rumors say Starbucks is paying around $10 million to MSNBC for the Starbucks Morning Joe sponsorship. So what does Starbucks get for $10M?
- MSNBC won’t be renamed to include the Starbucks name, but coffee beans will be added to the logo.
- Voice-overs will inform viewers that “Morning Joe” is “brewed by Starbucks.”
- We should expect to see lots of prominent Starbucks coffee cups and now probably mugs on the set at Morning Joe.
- Several Starbucks logos and mentions will be placed on-air in every show
- Charitable initiatives between the show and Starbucks are being explored.
- When Morning Joe travels, they might broadcast from Starbucks locations.
UPDATE: MSNBC and Starbucks parted ways with their endorsement deal for Morning Joe in September 2013. However, the companies are still on good terms. Also, a rumored Morning Joe blend of Starbucks coffee is being discussed.