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Celebrating Inclusivity: TATA Starbucks’ #ItStartsWithYourName

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TATA Starbucks has launched a new campaign, #ItStartsWithYourName, focusing on personal connections, relationships, and the struggles faced by the queer community in India. This blog dives into the brand film, the vision behind the campaign, and the creative minds involved. So, let’s explore how TATA Starbucks aims to create inclusive experiences that feel like a homecoming for everyone.

The #ItStartsWithYourName Film

The campaign unfolds with an emotional brand film set at a TATA Starbucks store, where an elderly couple eagerly awaits their son, Arpit. The father appears upset, while the mother tries to calm him. Unexpectedly, a nervous young girl approaches the couple and sits beside them, revealing that she is their transgender daughter. The film beautifully portrays the family’s journey of acceptance, with the father eventually ordering coffee for them. As the Starbucks barista calls out ‘Three cold coffees for Arpita,’ tears of joy flow, signifying the reunion and acceptance of their daughter’s true identity.

Authenticity and Representation

To ensure authenticity, TATA Starbucks collaborated with LGBTQIA+ creative talents for this campaign. The project was directed by the renowned filmmaker Gaurav Gupta, with the lead role brilliantly portrayed by transgender model and actor Sia. Producer Ashwin D’souza was also involved in bringing this project to life. So, by involving voices from the LGBTQIA+ community, TATA Starbucks brings an authentic perspective to the storytelling, highlighting the importance of representation and diverse narratives.

First Approach for #ItStartsWithYourName

Deepa Krishnan, Chief Marketing Officer of TATA Starbucks Pvt Ltd stated, “Starbucks has always been a warm, welcoming space for its customers where relationships are fostered, and personal connections are celebrated over a cup of coffee. The unique Starbucks experience where everyone feels welcome is what drives our growth. At Starbucks, we are not in the coffee business serving people, but in the people business serving coffee, nurturing the limitless possibilities of human connection every day. With the #ItStartsWithYourName campaign – we hope to further drive the message of being a welcoming, inclusive brand where nothing matters to us more than our customers’ comfort. We understand that our customers enjoy and cherish their individuality and we are always ready to celebrate it with them.”

Further discussing the campaign, Ashutosh Munshi, Lead Advisor, Brand Marketing and Communications, Edelman said, “#ItStartsWithYourName – campaign brings to the fore the essence of the TATA Starbucks experience, where customers are recognized personally, by their names. This 360-degree, integrated campaign includes a new brand film and a suite of marketing communication assets that highlight Starbucks’ unique ability to create a sense of belonging for its customers while making meaningful relationships.”

Expanding the #ItStartsWithYourName Campaign

Additionally, beyond the brand film, the #ItStartsWithYourName campaign extends to various product films, including Picco, Masala Chai, Filter Coffee, New Food Menu, and Milkshakes. These films continue to emphasize inclusivity and celebrate diverse customer experiences. For instance, the Picco film acknowledges the Indian consumer’s preference for smaller cup sizes, while the filter coffee film showcases a heartwarming interaction between a mother and daughter at a Starbucks store.

Controversy, Criticism, and Diverse Responses

Starbucks India captioned the post, “Your name defines who you are – whether it’s Arpit or Arpita. At Starbucks, we love and accept you for who you are. Because being yourself means everything to us. #ItStartsWithYourName.” 

Despite the campaign’s positive message, it faced criticism on social media for being perceived as “too woke” and promoting “Woke culture.” Some users questioned the need for a multinational brand to delve into sensitive topics, while others accused TATA of selectively promoting nationalism. This controversy sparked intense debate surrounding acceptance, inclusivity, and the role of brands in social issues. Further, the hashtag “Boycott Starbucks” trended on Twitter.

Positive Responses on #ItStartsWithYourName Campaign

Negative Responses on #ItStartsWithYourName Campaign

Impact and Future Initiatives

The #ItStartsWithYourName campaign has sparked important conversations and garnered praise for its message of acceptance and inclusivity. TATA Starbucks aims to leverage this momentum to drive meaningful relationships and foster a sense of belonging for customers. As the campaign amplifies across digital, print, radio, and BTL initiatives, TATA Starbucks continues to make a positive impact through its commitment to celebrating individuality.

Also Read: Alia Bhatt Empowers Education with Nihar Shanti Amla

So, TATA Starbucks’ #ItStartsWithYourName campaign showcases the brand’s dedication to inclusivity, personal connections, and celebrating diverse identities. TATA Starbucks embraces inclusivity by highlighting queer community struggles and fostering acceptance, promoting an inclusive society. The campaign’s emotional brand film, authentic storytelling, and collaboration with LGBTQIA+ talents contribute to its impact. Despite the controversy it sparked, the campaign ignites essential discussions on acceptance and the responsibility of multinational brands. So, through #ItStartsWithYourName, TATA Starbucks reinforces the idea that embracing individuality begins with acknowledging someone by their chosen name.


Director: Gaurav Gupta

Agency: Edelman
Production House: The Yellow Umbrella Films
Associate Director: @priyankasinghahluwalia
Chief AD: @rishav_agrawals_pov
Assistant Directors: @aradhya_mhashilkar @goforsshubh_27

Producer: Ashwin D’souza

Creative Team: Ashish PathakSaurabh Kulkarni, Supriyo Sen Sharma, Metseli Thurr, Nikita TambayCynara PintoAliya MahimturaAshutosh MunshiTim Green and Abhijit Lahiri

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