Fun Cards from Starbucks Japan!

IMAG0885 Blossom Cheer Fun JapanLast night, I was at a Starbucks in University Village. While I was there with friends, two people came in visiting from Vancouver, Canada, who knew me from social media. Yes, this was quite a coincidence! The couple – Andrew and Yoshima – were a delight to meet. I’d been following Andrew for a long time on Twitter! Andrew is a current partner in Vancouver, and Yoshima is a former Starbucks Japan partner.

If you’d been there, you’d have seen that it was an episode of pictures, instagraming, selfies, and more. Yoshima had a handful of cards on her that were part of a promotion for the Honey Orange Latte in Starbucks Japan in 2009. Here’s Yoshima showing off the cards!

IMAG0884 Promo cards Starbucks Japan - Yoshima - 15 July 2014What cute little promotional cards! Apparently baristas gave them away at the register. One side has stickers of cute images and the other side has a blank area for the customer to write a note and pass it on to a friend. There were a total of six designs of these cards. And yes, Starbucks Japan always gets all the cool stuff!

IMAG0889 Happy Card starbucks japanIMAG0892 Smile promo cards japanIMAG0891 Sunny promo card starbucks japanIMAG0888 copyIMAG0894 All 6 cardsThese little cards are so clever. I wish that Starbucks would do something fun like this in the US. I can totally imagine a Fizzio version of these cards.

Separately, I received some mail from long-time reader Izumi, who is in Japan. She sent me two current Starbucks Japan cards. They’re stunning.

IMAG0919 AR butterfly cardIMAG0916 2 cards from Starbucks japanIMAG0914 Hanabi cardThe butterfly card is so stunningly exotic and beautiful. It’s called the “AR Butterfly” which means that it’s an “augmented reality” butterfly card. Japanese artist Asami Kiyokawa designed it. My understanding is that if you viewed the card with a certain app, the butterflies would appear to flitter and fly.

The other new card is the “hanabi” card. It’s my understanding that the Japanese word for fireworks is Hanabi. It too is very pretty!

Hope you enjoyed this quick detour to Japan!

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  • purple1

    I am really into stationery and would enjoy seeing these cards at a SB store here in the USA. And those gift cards! Wow! Another example to me how different the two SB markets are- international vs. USA.

  • DadCooks

    Well Melody, it looks like you can now say that you have gone viral, the paparazzi will not be far behind 😉

    The Japanese Culture is very interesting and little things like the promotional cards are very unique. I think they are great, but would cause problems in our “culture” (or lack of it). The eco-weenies would condemn the waste and forest destruction.

    This is just like the other little trinkets from Japan you have shown us in the past. I will say that Starbucks Marketing understands the Japanese Market.

    Thanks for a great post that pairs well with my morning Komodo Dragon.

  • IzzyJ

    Can you use the Japan Starbucks cards in the US? I already confuse my local Starbucks partners just by using my Teavana card at Starbucks

  • jenn nahrstadt

    i have a customer who is in Japan right now, and i asked him to bring back some gift cards for us baristas. they’re a fabulous souvenir, and he doesn’t have to put any money on them or even purchase them–those are BEAUTIFUL!!!

  • jenn nahrstadt

    izzy, i’m not sure cards brought from Japan or any other foreign country would be able to be used here. there is encoding that i don’t understand that makes some cards only usable in the currency of that country. but, i did have customers come in with cards from London and Ireland, and they were usable on my register. i don’t know for sure, but my guess is that those from Asia would not be usable. Melody? this sounds like a great question for the PR folks. it’s fun to have a souvenir like that and be able to use it stateside.

  • Korlithiel

    Those are truly beautiful! And the little dog on the butterfly card is quite amusing. :) I wonder if Starbucks has considered such whimsy for special occasions outside of Japan.

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