It's been another weird week in retail.
Starbucks tried (and failed) to recreate the hype around another frappuccino, a Utah police force debuted its own "authentic" mud jeans to rival Nordstrom and KFC cooked up a spicy Mother's Day gift.
This, and more, in this week’s Retail Therapy.
Starbucks’ Midnight Mint Mocha mistake
After the Starbucks Unicorn frappuccino fiasco that — if you remember a few weeks ago — was driving the coffee retailer’s baristas and Stephen Colbert mad, Starbucks attempted to wipe the slate clean this week and stir up another viral frappuccino craze.
Unlike the colorful, flavor-changing drink that looks like Lisa Frank threw up in a cup, the Midnight Mint Mocha — which many are referring to as “the anti-unicorn” — is almost completely dark with a faint white stripe across the middle. In a press release, Starbucks described what it hoped would be the latest frappuccino craze as a “layered beverage [that] starts with scoops of extra-dark cocoa blended with coffee, milk and ice, infused with cooling mint sugar crystals and cut with a layer of whipped cream. It is then topped with more whipped cream and a dusting of dark cocoa.”
The drink — oddly promoted with a photo of the beverage jutting out of a wall of mint — received rather subdued reviews on social media, a reaction that can simply be characterized as: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
While Starbucks may have succeeded in taking over Instagram for a week in April with its horrendous, over-the-top Unicorn drink, the latest frappuccino iteration was as dull as it looks. Consumers are moving on just in time for the coffee retailer to launch its half-priced Frappy hour on Friday. We’ll see how long it takes Starbucks to return to its more vibrant marketing style based on mythical creatures.
The Orem Police department’s authentic mud jeans
One can only laugh at how terrible denim has been this year. Remember Nordstrom’s $425 mud jeans that seized the internet last week?
Well, officers of the Orem Police Department out in Utah saw those jeans, too. They got in on the joke by marketing their own pair of authentic “heavily distressed blue patrol duty pants.” The pants are described as: “Not very comfortable straight leg fit. They’ve seen things no one should see. They have spent holidays, birthdays and anniversaries away from home. Not to be worn by the faint of heart.”
Nordstrom's decorative mud jeans don't have anything on these blue bottoms, which come with authentic "blood from a tragic or fatal accident," a "torn knee from jumping a fence while chasing a homicide suspect" and "mud stains from wrestling with an uncooperative assailant."
The officers even darkly mocked Nordstrom's $425 price tag: "These pants have been paid for by the 41 officers that have paid the ultimate sacrifice already this year."
KFC’s romantic Mother’s Day novella
Still not sure what to get for Mother's Day? KFC hopes you'll buy its sizzling new romantic novella to spice up her life.
The fast food company began marketing "Tender Wings of Desire" in an ad launched Thursday, in which a shirtless hunk with a six-pack and flowing dark locks reads about the romantic love cooked up between Madeleine and Colonel Sanders.
"This Mother's Day, let Colonel Sanders take care of dinner. And mom's fantasies," the tagline reads. If trashy romance novels and fried chicken are the way to your mothers heart, then this is the gift for you.
Taco Bell’s terrible chicken tortilla chips
We’ve seen some pretty terrible tortilla mashups this year — just think back to Wal-Mart’s "crotilla," the awful result of mixing a croissant with a tortilla. But Taco Bell is never one to shy away from mashups — and now, it's upping the ante. Lo and behold the new Naked Chicken Chip — apparently, what you get if you cross a piece of fried chicken with a tortilla chip.
The new product — a follow-up to its Naked Chicken Chalupa — will launch in stores on May 11 and is served not with salsa, barbeque sauce or ketchup, but with ooey gooey nacho cheese. The chips are essentially a new take on chicken nuggets — think Burger King chicken fries, but triangular.
While the item hasn't been rolled out yet... some eager customers are already marking their calendars.
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) May 2, 2017