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Celebrity Licensing: Starbucks and Taylor Swift Collab on ‘Taylor’s Latte’

By Gary Symons

TLL Editor in Chief

Starbucks scored a big win on a celebrity licensing deal over the weekend, as ‘Swifties’ flocked to the world’s most popular barista chain for a Taylor Swift-themed Grande Caramel Nonfat Latte.

As some described it, the ‘Taylor’s latte” featured the taste of caramel, a crisp autumn day, and a ‘bad breakup in 2012’, a reference to the song Begin Again that is featured on a re-recorded version of her hit album Red (Taylor’s Version). 

On Friday Starbucks announced it was joining Taylor Swift to promote the release of Red (Taylor’s Version) with her favorite latte. Beginning over the weekend, fans enjoyed Taylor’s favorite Starbucks drink — a Grande Caramel Nonfat Latte — by asking for a “Taylor’s latte” or “Taylor’s Version.

That drink is, by the way, featured at Starbucks all year long, but the company is featuring it for a limited time only as “Taylor’s Version” to mark the new album, a re-recorded version of her 2012 smash effort that also includes additional, never-before-heard tracks.

Swift, who has shown she is as adept at marketing as at singing and songwriting, hinted at the Starbucks collaboration in October. The partnership is driving lots of traffic to Starbucks, but also to downloads of songs from the new album. As one example of the collaboration, fans using the Starbucks app can order up a Swift-inspired e-gift that includes the lyrics “Autumn Leaves Falling Down” from her song All Too Well.  It was also released as a short film on YouTube, coinciding with the album release on Friday evening at 7 p.m. Eastern.

The coffee chain also played Swift’s new album all day long, along with other Swiftie fan favorites, and encouraged her fans to listen all day long on the Starbucks Spotify playlist.

Incidentally, if you’re wondering about the connection between Starbucks and Taylor Swift, there’s more involved than just the pop star’s love of lattes. In the hit song Blank Space, the line “… got a long line of lovers…” sounds exactly like the words “Starbucks lovers” and helped popularize the chain with Taylor Swift fans for years after its release.

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