Desirée with an accent
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Starbucks Doubleshot

Starbucks Doubleshot® Energy Sampling Program

Starbucks Doubleshot® Energy

Sampling Program


The North American Coffee Partnership (Starbucks and PepsiCo) introduced two spiced flavors of its ready-to-drink Starbucks Doubleshot Energy line, Spiced Vanilla & Mexican Mocha. The company wanted to introduce the products to Hispanic Male Millennials in Chicago.

Challenge in a nutshell:

Create a sampling program to connect with Hispanic Male Millennials at events in Chicago, focusing on two recently launched flavors, Spiced Vanilla & Mexican Mocha.

Objective in a nutshell:

Engage consumers to try the product & leave a lasting impression, encouraging them to drive purchase at retail.

My role:

  • Researched relevant events in the Chicago area and crafted an activation plan recommendation
  • Brainstormed activation ideas
  • POC for event properties
  • Acquired sampling permits with the city for each event
  • Handled budget and payments to vendors and event properties
  • Coordinated logistics with activation partner and PepsiCo distributor

Execution in a nutshell:

Enlisted an activation partner and secured footprint at twelve (12) events from May through September ranging from food to sports and cultural-centric events. Activation elements included a sampling truck, sampling stands, and an interactive kiosk that generated printouts as well as GIFs for users to share on social media. 

Given the large footprint of the truck, it acted as a mobile “billboard” and attracted crowds easily because of its statement-making size and also was the perfect background for consumer “selfies”. The truck also acted as a mobile refrigeration and storage unit, therefore we didn’t need to spend extra budget on a refrigeration truck or storage unit when items were not in use.

The sampling stands provided a second and third sampling hub which helped cull long lines. The stands were the perfect size to match the truck and made the truck look 3D when placed up against it. They also could be pulled out into traffic to attract more consumers. The sampling stands featured the charging stations and consumers were grateful and pleasantly surprised we had them.

The interactive kiosk was extremely well received by consumers, as evidenced by the long lines to play with it and the number of interactions documented. CRM data was captured through the kiosk which could be used for future re-targeting campaigns. 

Events activated:

  1. Mole de Mayo (5/28-29)
  2. Taste of Mexico (6/3-5)
  3. Fiesta Back of the Yards (6/10-12)
  4. Puerto Rican Festival (6/18-19)
  5. Mariachi Heritage Foundation Festival (6/26)
  6. Copa America Semi-finals (6/22)
  7. Fiesta Del Sol (7/28-31)
  8. Cuban Festival (8/11-14)
  9. Pilsen Festival (8/20-21)
  10. Villapalooza (8/27)
  11. Central American Festival (9/3-4)
  12. Festival Villita (9/10-11)


Overall, the events worked very well. Fiesta Back of the Yards yielded the highest amount of samples at 22,570 for a multi-day event while the Copa America Semifinals yielded the highest amount for a single event at 2,172 cans (approximately 15,204 samples). We distributed a total of 98,555 samples (51,967 of Mexican Mocha and 46,588 of Spiced Vanilla).

The 3-in-1 interactive kiosk generated 886 GIFs, captured 809 pieces of consumer data, and generated 125 social media posts leading to 53,852 additional impressions that would not have been generated otherwise.

Based on the success criteria of growing awareness and driving trial of Doubleshot with the Hispanic Male Millennial cohort, this inaugural launch of a Hispanic sampling campaign for the first year was a great success. Doubleshot filled a constant event need for consumers, given all of the pictures and videos being taken and posted to social media. Based on consumer responses to Doubleshot presence at events spanning multiple demographic Latinos (Cuban, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Central American Festivals, etc.), many consumers told us that they had 1. Never heard of the brand and 2. Never tried it 3. Loved the Mexican Mocha flavor and 4. Asked if the brand came in additional flavors. All of these comments indicate that the program increased awareness and trial of the brand, hopefully converting life-long devotees to Doubleshot and increasing sales and penetration growth.

activation highlights: