A new comedy video from Cracked makes a fair point: there’s a lot of bullshit that goes into the marketing of coffee nowadays. Slap the words “organic” and “fair trade” on the product, and everyone feels pretty good about keeping their caffeine addictions going. Several years ago, Slovenian theorist Slavoj Žižek took a closer look at this phenomenon and drew some interesting conclusions about how, within contemporary capitalism, companies like Starbucks have reworked Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic, and found new ways to square our economic and spiritual lives. Starbucks has made it, Žižek notes, so that when we enter their stores, we’re not just buying coffee and being consumers. Rather, we’re buying fair trade and eco-friendly coffee, participating in charitable work, and leaving with a sense of redemption. The animated video is worth a look.
And lest you think marketing coffee has always been a sunny affair, let me turn your attention to this post in our archive: Men In Commercials Being Jerks About Coffee: A Mashup of 1950s & 1960s TV Ads.