not so big. not so smart.

The marketers at the coffeehouse have decided to “brand” the chain as something different, something fun, something personal, and something not at all Starbucks. Good idea. They’ve done this by issuing brochures full of adjectives in large white sans serif fonts, and by a poster campaign of customers and employees sharing their differentness and specialness and not at all Starbucks ness. It’s the last few Apple ad campaigns, basically. Bad idea.

We’re responding with the most mature and sensible thing we could think of: Photoshop contest! Well, not really contest in that we have no prizes and no one cares. But we intend to amuse each other. I took bad digital pictures of the posters tonight, so you can see what they’re like. Prepare yourselves for lens flare and blurring and other artifacts of the night shot. I suggest you start over with your pics and just try to simulate the ads rather than actually using these as models.

If you don’t live around here or don’t go to this place, this will be uninteresting to you. Carry on!

Edit: If you want to be in the one of the ads, go ahead:

Edit Edit: The Register has a story from last year (!) about this ad campaign, in which they have also managed to insult the U.S. Marines. The campaign was created an ad agency in media hub Dana Point called “Collective Energy”. I had no idea they had 473 stores. Where the hell are all those?

14 thoughts on “not so big. not so smart.

  1. high as a kite — like me
    cultured guy is pretty offensive. you should make one with ellen feiss on it. print a bunch of glossy things at kinkos and stash them with the real ones. HAHAHA FUnny.

  2. Substitute asked: “I had no idea they had 473 stores. Where the hell are all those?”
    Well, I found one store locator. Looks closer to 50 stores than 473.
    They must own several other chains. I do know that they bought out the 31 year-old Coffee People chain, one of the better places around Oregon. They have 24 stores. There were plans to expand to 60, but then the dot-com crash probably nixed that. Coffee People is notable because they created the first world’s first drive-through espresso stand, Motor Moka.

    1. From DDRXE stock profile:
      Diedrich Coffee, Inc. specializes in sourcing, roasting, and selling coffees under Diedrich Coffee, Gloria Jean’s, and Coffee People brands. […] As of September 22, 2004, the company sold its coffees through 482 retail outlets located in the United States and 13 foreign countries, as well as through approximately 460 wholesale accounts, including office coffee service distributors, restaurants, specialty retailers, mail order, and the Internet. Diedrich was founded in 1972 and is headquartered in headquartered in Irvine, California.

    2. Coffee People used to be great. I hear it’s way downhill in the last ten years, but I loved it when I visited PDX before.
      D’s also owns Gloria Jean’s, the shitty shopping mall flavored coffee people.
      They may also include carts and things in airports and all kinds of things as “stores”.

      1. Yeah, I don’t go to Coffee People any longer, not since Diedrich’s started roasting CP’s beans and transporting them across state lines. Fuck that.
        The new kid on the block is Stumptown Coffee. They roast beans every morning down at the first Stumptown location, SE Belmont & 33rd. Want a regular cuppa joe? Neat, it’s all brewed by French press before being transferred to your standard push-button pneumatic carafes. Want espresso? It’s thick, dark, and correct. I’m quite sure they have PC beans, too. There’s a huge menu on the wall that I take pains to ignore each time I go. (I’m my little world, there are Colombian beans and Everything Else) Anyway, next time you’re in Portland, it’s worth being on the destination list.

      2. Since the Diedrich I go to is the original one, with a big patio and lots of tradition, it’s okay. But ever since they moved the roasting to that industrial location far away the coffee has been crummy. The places around here that have actually good coffee aren’t fun to hang out at, sadly.
        I’ll make a note of Stumptown.

  3. In general all the regulars in the afternoon seem to be pissed at the adds. Kinda insulting to people who grab coffee everyday and there is no rep from that store.
    The 473 stores I think includes all the other Diedrichs owned chains. Coffee People and Gloria Jean… or not….
    With headquarters in Irvine, California, Diedrich Coffee specializes in sourcing, roasting and selling the world’s highest quality coffees. The Company’s three brands are Gloria Jean’s Coffees, Diedrich Coffee, and Coffee People. The Company’s 197 retail outlets, the majority of which are franchised, are located in 33 states. Diedrich Coffee also sells its coffees through more than 460 wholesale accounts including office coffee service distributors, restaurants and specialty retailers, via mail order and the Internet. For more information about Diedrich Coffee, call (800) 354-5282, or visit the Company’s Web sites at,, or

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