Arctic Tale, a Paramount Classics documentary co-financed by National Geographic Films, has only grossed roughly $600,000 domestically since its release July 25, The LA Times reports.
Starbucks signed on to promote the film with special in-store signs, cup holders and other tie-ins, in exchange for a portion of the film’s earnings. On August 15, Starbucks hosted what it called a “National Day of Discussion: Solutions to Climate Change” at coffeehouses in more than 60 U.S. cities.
Even though the film didn’t succeed at the box office, the company is pointing to a successful corporate social responsibility campaign.
“Our measurement of success was not the box office,” said Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment. “Our measurement of success was to do as much as we could to encourage discussion around the critical issue of today – global warming.”
“I’m sure that’s the sort of thing that Starbucks shareholders want to hear,” Ken Wheaton writes in an AdAge editorial. “‘We don’t measure success in stupid old dollars. We’re more interested in conversation.'”