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Starbucks Can Learn From Nathan Fielder


Looks like Los Angeles based Dumb Starbucks was a publicity stunt masterminded by Nathan Fielder, star of Comedy Central’s “Nathan For You”. Within a day of opening, the imitation coffee shop consistently had a line of bewildered, caffeine deprived hipsters waiting out the door. Thankfully late Monday the Los Angeles health department stepped in and shut the parody store front down. I say thankfully because we forget that the real victim here is poor old Starbucks, a fledgling mom and pop establishment barely able to make ends meet in today’s tough economy. Every time someone pokes fun at Starbucks, the underdog company has to pull money out of its meager savings to hire the finest Harvard educated lawyers it can to defend itself. And we all know, when it comes to coffee-right® infringement, Starbucks has it their way. I can’t help but ask, where’s the beef here?

Over the years, Starbucks has become as well known for cease and desist letters as it has for its dumb coffee. This, of course, has made the company a perfect target for trolling, which is probably why Nathan Fielder and Comedy Central chose to go after the coffee behemoth. Imagine how little publicity Comedy Central would have gained from opening a storefront called “Dumb J.C. Penny’s”? The real J.C. Penny company would have been excited just to get some extra advertising. Going after Starbucks, a company already prone to ridicule, was kind of a safe choice on the part of “Nathan For You.”

Starbucks, if you’re reading this, I have an idea. What if you, Starbucks, actually did open a few new stores called “Dumb Starbucks”? You already know that people love the idea of it. In a single weekend, the Comedy Central inspired “Dumb Starbucks” attracted more patrons and publicity than any other nearby Starbucks probably did. Starbucks, let the people have it their way. Give us a “Dumb Starbucks” or a “Stupid Starbucks” or a “Craptacular Starbucks”. What’s Nathan Fielder going to do? Sue you for stealing his idea? Wouldn’t that be a fitting end to all this? We all know that trolling a troll is finger lickin’ good.

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