Starbucks plans to promote 'Arctic Tale' in its coffeehouses

SEATTLE — Starbucks Corp. is planning a summer publicity blitz for "Arctic Tale," a movie about a walrus and a polar bear narrated by Queen Latifah, using posters and cup-holders the company hopes will educate coffee drinkers about climate crisis.

Starbucks also hopes that this time around, customers will actually go see the movie.

Last year, the coffeehouse chain linked up with Hollywood to promote "Akeelah and the Bee," but the movie got a lukewarm reception at the box office in spite of fun vocabulary-word flash cards in Starbucks shops.

Kenneth Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment, said the company is planning a less subtle campaign for the "Arctic Tale" partnership with both Paramount Classics, the studio behind Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," and National Geographic Films, which produced "March of the Penguins."

Starbucks will play the movie soundtrack, which features Ben Harper, Aimee Mann and the Shins, in stores. The company has also designated Aug. 15 a "National Day of Discussion," and plans to host in-store talks in some cities with environmental awareness groups such as Earth Watch and Global Green USA.

Starbucks said all three partners benefit financially but did not release specific details of the deal.

"Arctic Tale" is set to reach selected theaters July 25, with a wide release planned for Aug. 17. Seela the walrus and Nanu the polar bear will start appearing in Starbucks stores July 31.

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